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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 






Myself and Others 

"By Jessie Millward (in Collaboration 

with J. B. Booth J. 

With i8 illustrations. 

J. A. McME!l- 








• • •• «• •• •■ • 


Chapter I. 

My Father, Charles Millward 


, II. 

Early Days 


, III. 

Henry Irving 


, IV. 

The Lyceum 


, V. 

First Visit to America . . 


, VI. 

The Adelphi 


, VII. 

Adelphi Days 


, VIII. 

Drury Lane 

• 144 

, IX. 

Back to the Lyceum 

. 165 

, X. 

Authors and Others 

. 188 

, XL 

A Prophecy of Evil 

. 218 

, XII. 

William Terriss . , 


, XIII. 

Charles Frohman 

. 24X 

, XIV. 


. 257 

, XV. 

Comedy and Tragedy 


, XVI. 

The War and After 

• 294 


TS I HAVE Played 

• 315 


Jessie Millward, as Lady Manners in " A School for 

Husbands " . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece 



Charles Millward 

The Millward Family 

Irving and Toole {Caricature by Sir Herbert Tree) 

Irving at Rehearsal {Drawing by J. Bernard Partridge) 

Jessie Millward as Hero 

David Belasco 

Jessie Millward as Ann Chute in "The Colleen Bawn' 

Jessie Millward and William Terriss in " The 
Harbour Lights " 

Jessie Millward as Pauline in " The Lady of Lyons ". 

G. R. Sims and Henry Pettitt 

Daniel Frohman . . 

Jessie Millward as Lady Algy in " Lord and Lady 

Pi.\.QW •• •• •• •• •• • 

Jessie Millward as Lady Doura in " My Lady's Lord 

Jessie Millward as Lady Eastney in " Mrs. Dane 
Defence " 

Jessie Millward as Beatrice . . 

Sir Squire Bancroft 

John Glendinning 










REGRETS have an uncomfortable habit of late 
arrival, and never until I sat down to recall the 
past had I regretted that I had not kept a diary. 

For these pages I have been compelled to rely on old 
letters, faded old cuttings, old memories, and old friends. 
And if in any instance I have failed to acknowledge the 
help which I have received, my omission will, I hope, 
be ascribed to accident or sheer forgetfulness. 

First I must pay my debt of gratitude to that splendid 
and courtly veteran of a grand old school. Sir Squire 
Bancroft, for his kindness and assistance in recalling 
incidents in my family history before I was even of an 
age to keep a diary. Mr. Belasco I thank for his 
portrait, and to Mr. Daniel Frohman I give my deep 
thanks for his picture and kindly words of encourage- 
ment : — 

" I am sure your reminiscences will be most interest- 
ing, and will cover a wide range of theatrical activities. 
I remember so well my early visits annually to London, 
and my seeing you so earnestly active at the Adelphi, 
when I used to drop in to see my dear old friend. Will 
Terriss. Now so many of the old friends are gone — 
Kendal, Tree, Alexander, Hare, Wyndham — but time 
rolls on." 


To Mr. Bernard Partridge I am indebted for the per- 
mission to publish his valuable and little known drawing 
of Sir Henry Irving at rehearsal ; to the proprietors of 
the " Era " I owe my thanks for Sir Herbert Tree's 
drawing of Sir Henry Irving and John Toole, and, 
wherever I have been able to trace it, the name of the 
photographer appears beneath each photographic illus- 
stration. To Mr. Tom Terriss I am indebted for the 
deeply interesting views on the future of the film which 

appear in the last chapter. 

J. M. 



I ! — Henry Irving and my mother. — My father, Charles Millward. — 
Liverpool associations. — The "Porcupine."— Greeks in Liverpool — Amateur 
theatricals. — The " Illustrious Stranger."— E. A. Sothem. — Journalism. — 
Liverpool papers. — An editor of the old school. — Justin McCarthy. — 
M. J. Whitty. — The penny "Daily Post." — Lord Russell of Liverpool. — A 
journalists' club. — Barry Sullivan. — The Liverpool Literary and Dramatic 
Society. — A melting performance. — My father's first play produced at the 
Adelphi. — Albert Smith and Robert Brough. — A Temple supper party. — 
Sala, Mayhew and others.— Coaxing the " gods." — Mayoral patronage. — 
Mr. Gladstone and an unlucky supporter. — The " London Letter." — 
Mrs. John Wood. — The Walker Art Gallery. — Mr. Phihp Rathbone. 


And now everybody tells me that the worst is over. 

Of all the vowels " I " is the most stark and un- 
ashamed ; " A " has a certain graceful angularity ; 
" E " is full of cosy nooks, " O " and " U " are cheery, 
rotund little fellows, full of good humour — but " I " i 

So when people have suggested to me that some record 
of my life and art might be of interest both to the public 
with which I grew up and to the public which is growing 
up, a horrid vision presented itself to me of rigid, un- 
compromising " I's " flashing through the pages as 
telegraph posts — and they are ugly and uncompromising 
enough, in all conscience — flash past through the 
windows of an express train. 


10 Myself and Others 

But as behind the telegraph posts which fringe the 
railway line there is often interesting, often beautiful, 
often strange and thought-provoking scenery, so behind 
the " I's " which flash past in this survey of my life's 
journey there will, I think and hope, be found some 
pictures of brilliant and interesting people, records of 
high artistic endeavour, and scenes from the great tragi- 
comedy of life which will help the reader to forget the 
hideous first person singular. 

And if the reader should get one half so bored as I 
shall become with the pronoun, he or she can always 
substitute mentally the impersonal " one " or the 
pleasantly vague " they." 

" Of course your daughter will go on the stage," said 
Mr. Henry Irving to my mother after hearing me recite 
one evening at our house in Maiden Crescent when I 
was about fourteen years of age. 

" I would sooner see her in her grave," was my 
mother's very uncompromising reply. 

And yet within a few years of this stern declaration 
I entered on a stage career with her consent and approval, 
and — but I seem to have begun, if not quite in the 
middle, rather far from the beginning, so I had better 
go back and explain how Mr. Irving came to be inflicted 
with the recitations of a young lady of fourteen. 

My father, Charles Millward, was a familiar and 
popular figure in the theatrical world. A clever journalist 
— amongst other things, he wrote the London Letter to 
the Liverpool " Porcupine," a bright little journal which 
had a considerable reputation on the banks of the Mersey, 
and of which he was at one time the proprietor — the 
author of many pantomime " books," and a prominent 

Myself and Others 11 

member, and one of the fathers, of the Savage Club, 
in the days when the club-room had a sanded floor and 
its weekly " function " was a tripe and onion supper, 
he was a typical Bohemian of the witty, brilliant type 
of which there seemed so many in those days. 

Born in Liverpool, my father, after being educated at 
the Liverpool College School in Shaw Street, passed 
into the office of a general merchant in South Castle 
Street, Liverpool. 

There were no Greeks in Liverpool in those days — 
times have indeed changed ! 

The shipping business of the few firms of that 
nationality in London and Manchester was delegated to 
local agents, and at that time, too, the great steamship 
companies of Burns and Maclver, Bibby, Moss, and 
Papayanni were unborn, and clipper schooners and 
brigantines were the only traders between Liverpool 
and the Mediterranean ports. 

These traders usually loaded and unloaded in the 
King's and Queen's Docks, and it was part of my father's 
duty to see that none of his firm's packages were shut 
out. All packed goods for Russian ports were sealed 
by the consul, who kept the wretched juniors waiting 
for his " certificates " hours in his dingy old office off 
Mersey Street. 

It was during my father's apprenticeship that the 
Greek invasion of Liverpool began, and towards the 
close of his articles he gazed for the first time on a real 
live Greek. The young gentleman in question was 
" consigned " to his employer with secret instructions 
to " learn all he could as quickly as possible " and pave 
the way for the establishment of a direct branch of the 
house instead of a mere agency. Other young Greeks 
arrived In Liverpool about the same time with similar 

12 Myself and Others 

instructions, and, as an inevitable result, the English 
agents were soon swept away and the first Greek houses 
in Liverpool were established. 

The first of the invading firms was, I fancy, Messrs 
Cassavetti and Co., then followed Papayanni, who have 
made their name in the commercial annals of the town. 
Messrs. Giannopulo, Cochilani and Maovrogordato came 
next, and to them succeeded the Rallis, the Lascaridis, 
the Negropontes, the Georgalas, the Prichas, and other 
firms of classic name and honourable repute, and my 
father was transferred, with the office fixtures, to the 
firm for which his employer had previously acted as 
agent. Larger offices were rented from Mr. George 
Holt (who sensibly collected his own rents in those 
primitive days) in Fenwick Chambers, and my father 
occupied the dignified position of cashier and chief 

During the fitting-up of the new offices his Greek 
employer rarely appeared, but one day he turned up as 
my father was settling accounts with the " poor rates." 

" What is that ? " demanded the Greek gentleman. 

" The rates." 

As there seemed to be no poor rates nor local taxes in 
Greece, matters had to be explained to my father's 
bewildered chief, who, with a keen appreciation of the 
situation, turned to the collector and said : " We're 
paying you prompt money, so of course you'll allow the 
usual discount for cash ? " 

That rate-collector cast a bewildered look upon the 
verdant foreigner, and, with a groan, fled, leaving my 
father to explain matters. 

It was surely the first and last experience of a 
rate-collector being asked to allow discount for ready 

Myself and Others 13 

Those were the days of late hours for the juniors, and 
I have heard my father tell how many a time he was 
kept until midnight waiting for captains to sign bills of 
lading. Bahr, Behrend and Stewart's office in Cable 
Street rarely closed before the small hours, and their 
captains were usually to be found when urgently wanted 
at an adjoining hostelry, kept by the firm's cashier, a 
Mr. Ryley, and later known as " Kelly's." Another 
" late-hour " office was Leech, Harrison and Forwood's, 
in North John Street, where twelve to fifteen hours was 
quite a usual day's work for the clerks. But the " late- 
hour " custom was as general as it was reprehensible. 
The leading merchants all followed it, and the droning 
manner in which business was then conducted made it 
almost a necessity. 

Hard-worked as he was, my father found time to 
indulge in his pet hobby of private theatricals. Un- 
deterred by the drudgery of office, he took up the cause 
of the drama, and with several kindred spirits started, 
in a room in Upper Newington Street, a very modest 
amateur dramatic society, which in due time gave a 
performance which was very highly praised. 

It should be added that the audience, being admitted 
free, and being provided with tea and coffee between 
the pieces, were expected to be eulogistic. Other per- 
formances followed, and as my father was the acknow- 
ledged leading actor of the company, he began to regard 
himself as the coming man. He had even been per- 
mitted to write a notice of his own performance in a 
local paper, so his assumption seemed justifiable. One 
evening, however, his evil genius appeared in the shape 
of a gentle youth, with chubby face and flaxen hair, who 
expressed a desire to join the theatrical ranks. 

" What can you play ? " asked my father. 

14 Myself and Others 

" Anything," replied the gentle youth, with becoming 

The company was then rehearsing the old farce, 
" The Illustrious Stranger," in which my father played 
Benjamin Bowbell, so the mild young stranger was cast 
for a small part and won my father's heart with some 
ingenuous praises of his acting. 

The eventful night arrived, and my father was happy 
in the belief that not only was a great personal triumph 
in store, but that my grandfather — whose hatred of 
actors and acting, even of the amateur variety, was 
deeply rooted — had been kept in the dark. 

His hopes and fears had been imparted to his new 
friend, whose sympathy cheered him, and whose watch- 
fulness filled him with a sense of security. The two 
youths dressed in the same room, but as the friend only 
appeared in the last scene, he generously acted as 
" dresser " and assisted my father in his make-up. 

About twenty minutes before the rise of the curtain 
the dear young friend pronounced my father's " make- 
up " perfect, and left the dressing-room for a moment, 
to return with the ghastly news that my grandfather 
was " in front." 

" The old man," he said, " is in the most awful rage, 
and threatens all sorts of things if you put a foot on the 
stage ! " 

" What on earth's to be done ? " cried my father in 
terror. " How did he get wind of it ? " 

" I'll tell you what to do," replied his kind friend. 
" Get out of your clothes and make-up, and clear off 
home as fast as you can. /'// try to get through the 
part for you." 

As my grandfather was not a man to be trifled with, 
the advice was quickly followed, and as speedily as 

Myself and Others 15 

possible my father fled home from the scene of his 
expected triumph. An hour afterwards, my grand- 
father arrived home panting, shook him warmly by the 
hand, and assured him that he " would never be taken 
in again." 

My father was properly grateful to his kind young 
friend — until next day. Next day he learned that the 
bland young gentleman, having made up his mind to 
play the part (in which he was letter-perfect), had 

written anonymously to my grandfather, and ! 

The worst of it was, he played the part to perfection ; 
the audience — my father's invited guests — applauded 
him enthusiastically, and my father was forgotten ! 

The same ingenious youth since then played many 
practical jokes. He also played many parts. A good 
fellow, a fine actor, and a Liverpudlian bred and born, 
E. A. Sothern's name will live long in theatrical history, 
and not only as the original Lord Dundreary. 

Not long after this catastrophe my father began ta 
dabble in journalism, and became an acknowledged 
paragraph writer for the weekly newspapers (there were 
no dailies then), and occasionally acted as dramatic critic. 

It was in the year 1853 that steady-going Liver- 
pudlians were startled by the announcement of the 
publication of the town's first daily newspaper. Up 
to that time there were the " Albion " on Monday, the 
" Courier " on Wednesday, and the " Journal," " Mail," 
and " Chronicle " on Saturday. Other semi-weekly 
papers were the " Standard," " Times," and " Mercury." 
It was a jog-trot age journalistically, and, taking the 
Liverpool papers all in all, they possessed a high average 
of respectability. 

The " Albion," the property of the Bean family, was 
edited by Mr. Herbert, and sub-edited by Mr. White- 

16 Myself and Others 

head, later a thriving auctioneer, and its business man 
was Mr. Thomas Atherton, founder of the firm of Wade 
and Atherton. The " Courier," the great Church and 
State organ, was the pride of the Tory party, but the 
editor who was later to bring it into its highest prosperity, 
Mr. John Willox, who died some years ago Sir John 
Willox, was at that time receiving his journalistic 
training in the ofhce of Messrs. Lee and Nightingale. 

Of the Liberal papers the chief were the " Journal," 
edited by Mr. M. J. Whitty, the " Times," under Mr. 
Thomas Bains, on which, under the fostering care of 
the sub-editor Mr. Thomas Lee, my father fleshed his 
maiden steel, and the " Mercury," with which were 
connected Hugh Shimmin, Edward Rushton, C. E. 
Macqueen, John Finch and Nathaniel Caine. 

The " Chronicle," formerly the property of Messrs. 
Ross and Nightingale, but in its later days owned by 
Messrs. Willman and Smith, was edited by Mr. John 
Dignan, one of the real old school of journalists. Pon- 
derous in style, but painstaking and conscientious, 
John Dignan's editorship gave a solemn tone to the 
paper. But once out of his editorial sanctum, behind 
his " yard of clay " in the old " Brunswick," or im- 
bibing his half-pint of Welsh from brown jug and tall- 
boy in the " Coach and Horses," the solemn editor was 
one of the most jovial souls. It was in his company 
that my father first met Thomas Spencer, to whose 
inventive genius the great firm of Elkington and Co. 
originally owed most of their fame and prosperity. 

The time of my father's entry into journalism was a 
period of transition, and most of those old steady-going 
papers were in their death-throes. On Saturday, 
September 21, 1853, Mr. Charles Willmer brought out 
the " Northern Daily Times," at the price of threepence 

Myself and Others 17 

a copy, or fourpence stamped. Mr. Samuel Phillips 
Day was the chief editor, and the staff consisted of a 
sub-editor, a financial editor, six leader-writers and six 
reporters, one of the latter being my father's friend, 
Justin McCarthy, later member for Longford and head 
of the parliamentary staff of the " Daily News." In 
June, 1855, the price of the paper was reduced to two- 
pence, and a fortnight later still further reduced to a 

The fight was a plucky one, but the town was not 
then equal to the maintenance of a daily, and after a 
fitful existence the " Northern Daily Times " died 
through lack of nourishment. But the seed had been 

During the death-throes of the " Northern Daily 
Times," my father's colleague, Mr. M. J. Whitty, con- 
ceived the notion of following up the idea which had 
ended so disastrously for Mr. Willmer's paper, and 
startled the public one fine day by announcing the 
penny " Daily Post." 

How that famous paper blossomed into success under 
the founder's vigorous management, how it maintained 
its prestige under the brilliant editorship of his successor, 
Mr. E. R. Russell, later Sir Edward Russell, and who 
died quite recently Lord Russell of Liverpool, are facts 
well known in journalistic history. 

Later the " Mercury " became a daily, and still later 
was absorbed by the " Post," but it should not be for- 
gotten that Charles Willmer was the adventurous 
pioneer of the Liverpool penny daily, and was, in one 
sense, the Northcliffe of his day. 

About this time, thanks to the introduction of Robert 
Brough, my father was made a member of an old- 
fashioned club of journalists, who held their weekly 



18 Myself and Others 

meetings at a quaint old hostelry in Basnett Street, 
called " The Coach and Horses," long since swallowed 
up by the huge Compton House. The chief members of 
the club were John Dignan, then the editor of the 
" Liverpool Chronicle" — Robert Brough, Ross — also of 
the " Chronicle," Herbert of the " Albion," and Michael 
James Whitty of the " Journal " (grandfather of Dame 
May Whitty). 

Shortly after my father's admission to the club there 
was some little stir in theatrical circles over the advent 
of a new actor whom Mr. W. R. Copeland, then manager 
of the Theatre Royal, had engaged for " leading busi- 
ness." The wily manager had given the new man a 
Saturday evening for his first appearance, as in those 
days Saturday was an " off " night, and shrewd managers 
were accustomed to venture " new stars " on the nights 
when the theatre was worst attended. Then, if the new 
appearance turned out to be a failure, he could be 
quietly sent to the right-about with few people the 
wiser, and the manager little the poorer. 

On the first Saturday night of his admission to the 
club, his editor told my father that a new actor — a 
young man from Edinburgh — was to make his first 
appearance in Liverpool, and, as a notice was expected 
in the Monday " Albion," it was decreed that someone 
was to go and see him. The programme — that gloomy 
old play " The Iron Chest " — was not attractive, 
and no one volunteered, so my father, as the recruit, 
was ordered to report the doings of the unknown. 

Abusing his luck, he left the cosy club-room, and in 
two or three minutes found himself one of about a 
score of people in the dress circle of the Theatre Royal. 
The house was not a quarter filled and was a listless one, 
and even the " orders " in the boxes and pit looked 




Myself and Others 19 

depressed. The play proceeded drearily until the 
monotony of the performance was broken by the 
entrance of the Sir Edward Mortimer — a tall, slim 
young man, graceful in bearing, of good presence, with 
expressive face, brilliant eyes, and a " taking " voice. 
A decidedly attractive appearance, but unmistakably 
nervous. The young man's entrance roused the audience 
a little ; and their awakening made him forget his 
nervousness. Presently the pit muttered approbation, 
and the gallery began to applaud. The dress circle 
ceased to yawn, the " orders " lost their lethargy, and 
the house made the pleasant discovery that an actor of 
undoubted ability was before it. At the fall of the 
curtain my father returned to report to his editor. 
He explained how the new actor had worked on his 
audience, how he had been called before the curtain, 
how a delighted manager had appeared and had 
announced that his new " star " would appear as 
Hamlet on the Monday, and how the house had. 
applauded rapturously. 

The young and nervous actor who made his first 
appearance in Liverpool as Sir Edward Mortimer in 
" The Iron Chest " was to make a great name for him- 
self, and to become the last and perhaps greatest of the 
old school of tragedians, and his name was Barry 

The theatre thus began to possess a powerful attrac- 
tion for my father and his youthful friends, and it was 
not long before they constituted themselves into a 
regularly organized body, " The Liverpool Literary and 
Dramatic Society," of which Mr. Robert Crompton was 
first president. 

About this time a number of local philanthropists 
conceived the idea of establishing what may be termed 


20 Myself and Others 

coffee-room places of amusement in the lower quarters 
of the town. A committee was appointed, including 
such well-known Liverpool names as Mr. Philip Rath- 
bone, Mr. George Melly, and other local worthies. 
Recreation rooms were taken in Bevington Bush and 
other festive localities, in which coffee was provided at 
a penny a cup, with no charge for draughts or news- 
papers, and the members of the dramatic society gave 
their services as entertainers, A sort of " free-and- 
easy " was established, at which on certain nights 
members of the committee orated and recited, and the 
penny people might volunteer sentimental and comic 

One eventful evening my father appeared to enter- 
tain the penny audience with a lecture on Thomas 
Hood, with readings from his works by Frederick 
Maccabe, Robert Crompton and other friends. Mr. 
George Melly was in the chair, and Mr. Philip Rathbone 
superintended the " front of the house." 

The lecture seemed to go well ; several of the poet's 
masterpieces were admirably recited by my father's 
friends, and he felt he had time to take it coolly. But 
how was it that the chairman was continually mopping 
his face ? Above all, how was it that the lecturer, 
taking it coolly as he thought, had not a dry thread on 
his back ? Then the chairman began to show obvious 
signs of distress. A powerful recitation of " The Bridge 
of Sighs " brought out a big display of handkerchiefs, 
which were used, however, to mop foreheads instead of 
eyes ; the members of the committee were visibly dis- 
solving. There was a pervading feeling of moist 

*' For heaven's sake," whispered the chairman, " cut 
it short, or I shall melt ! " 

Myself and Others 21 

" There are only four people left in front ! " hissed a 
committeeman, and the Hood lecture came to an 
abrupt end. 

There was a bread bakery beneath the recreation 
room, and the baker had chosen the precise hour at 
which the entertainment started to " fire-up." 

My father's first journey to London was in 185 1, the 
year of the Great Exhibition, but, I fancy, far more 
important to him than the Great Exhibition was the 
fact that the great object of his existence — up to that 
period — had been attained, and that living, breathing 
actors and actresses of real celebrity were nightly 
speaking his words and delighting crowded audiences 
with his wit. 

A dear friend, Joe Nightingale, and himself had given 
birth to a real live piece, which had been accepted by 
Mr. Benjamin Webster, and had been brought out at 
the Adelphi Theatre, where it ran for seventy-one 

So, in a sense, my association with the Adelphi 
Theatre started before I was born. 

The name of the piece was " Bloomerism," or " The 
Follies of the Day," and in the cast were Miss Woolgar, 
Miss Kathleen Fitzwilliam, Miss Ellen Chaplin, George 
Honey, Paul Bedford, Parselli, and the famous O. 
Smith. Alfred Mellon was musical director, and Leigh 
Murray, the father of Alma Murray, stage manager. 

Much of the success of the piece was due to the 
friendly ofhces of Albert Smith and Robert Brough. 
My father had long been on terms of affectionate 
intimacy with the latter, and had made the acquaint- 
ance of the former when Smith was gathering material 
for his novel, " Christopher Tadpole." Cheshire salt 
mines had been explored, ham and eggs eaten at the 

22 Myself and Others 

old " Ring o' Bells " at Bidston, and George's Dock 
carefully inspected and made a note of. The novelist 
and entertainer was also accompanied in his rambles by 
another friend, Mr. Joe Nightingale, one of the founders 
of the big printing firm of Lee and Nightingale. 

Albert Smith, William and Robert Brough, and other 
old friends gave my father a hearty welcome in London, 
and introduced him to the Kingdom of Bohemia. To 
celebrate the Adelphi success, a supper party was given 
within the shadow of Temple Bar in the chambers of 
Mr. Soutar, of the " Morning Advertiser," and as the 
guests emerged from their friend's chambers day was 
beginning to dawn. 

Amongst the party were " Gus " Mayhew, Robert 
and William Brough, Andrew Halliday, George Augustus 
Sala, and others, and they started cheerfully homeward. 
As ill luck would have it, they came into collision with a 
party of opposition revellers, and from words came to 

Some hours later my father accompanied Brough to 
Mayhew's room, and found " Gus " in bed with a 
bandaged head. To him they recounted their deeds of 
valour in the morning's grey. 

" We let them have it hot," said Brough. " One of 
'em, a big ruffian, set on me, but I knocked him down 
and bumped his head against the kerbstone." 

" Did you ? " said Mayhew, in his gloomiest manner 
and raising his bandaged head, " / was the man I " 

The callers hurriedly left the sick room, and that same 
afternoon my father returned to Liverpool. 

Meanwhile the Literary and Dramatic Society throve 
and prospered, and went in for annual " state " per- 
formances, in spite of gloomy prophecies to the effect 

Myself and Others 23 

that " play-acting " would bring ruin upon its members. 
Amongst the original members are many names well 
known in Liverpool annals, such as W. H. Peat, the 
founder of " The Journal of Commerce," T. C. Leete, of 
the well-known firm of Branch and Leete, T. W. Hughes, 
J. H. Nightingale, Barry Sullivan, W. M. Nuttall, W. J. 
Hammond, Fred Maccabe, George Meyrick, Fred Cum- 
mins, J. Forwood Tafe, and many others, who became 
prosperous merchants and professional men. 

The Society's first venture as a constituted body was 
on behalf of the Free Public Library, and it contributed 
some hundreds of volumes to the town Library. Almost 
immediately afterwards, the Town Council adopted the 
Free Library, and the town was asked for its support, 
but the Literary and Dramatic Society were the first 
donors to the Shaw's-brow Library. 

In addition to the " annual " performances, the 
Society had occasional " wanders " into other towns, 
some of which were successful, and some of which 
were — well, not quite so successful. 

On one occasion, fresh from a big success in Liverpool 
with Douglas Jerrold's " Rent Day," when over one 
hundred and fifty pounds had been taken for a charity, 
my father and his friends took the piece, company, and 
dresses to Bolton, and opened there to a five-pound house. 

To make matters worse, W. J. Hammond, a nephew 
of Douglas Jerrold, who played the part of Bullfrog, 
tried to coax the "gods" into a good humour, and this 
was how he did it. 

When the hisses began to predominate, he addressed 
the audience as follows : — 

" Have you chaps done up there ? " 

Whereupon the king of the gallery bawled : 

" Noa ; but it's time thou had." 

24 Myself and Others 

The curtain had to be dropped before the end of the 
comedy, to my father's disgust, for the second piece was 
to have been a new and original farce from his pen. 

Bullfrog's loss of temper and defiance of the gallery 
got his fellows into serious trouble. In an angry speech 
to the " gods " he intimated to the sixpenny patrons 
that the company — amateurs as they might be — were 
ready and willing to " take on the lot of 'em ! " When 
the curtain was abruptly dropped, the stage door-keeper 
appeared and announced to the company that " Th' 
gallery's waitin' for ye." 

It was. 

The patrons in the upper regions had cheerfully 
accepted the challenge, and were at the stage door 
anxious for the appearance of the challengers. 

Another dramatic venture of my father's about this 
time was an entertainment which he had composed 
called " The Rose, Shamrock and Thistle, or Gleanings 
from the Minstrelsy of England, Ireland and Scotland," 
and which his friend E. L. Hime, the composer and 
vocalist, took for a short tour, but, I fear, without 

I always remember my father's humorous descrip- 
tion of the fate of this youthful venture. 

The first " show " was in the Isle of Man, during 
Whitsun week, and the success was such that on the 
second night the piano had to be dispensed with, and on 
the third night the gas was turned off. Then on to 
Wigan, from which city Mr. Hime wired proudly that 
success was assured, as he had secured the patronage of 
the Mayor. 

Tremendously impressed, the author took a first-class 
return from Liverpool to Wigan in order to be present 
at the historic performance. His first disillusionment 

Myself and Others 26 

was not long in coming. It was Friday night — the 
colliers' pay day — and groups of men were assembled in 
the street leading from the station. He mildly asked 
a gigantic collier who blocked and blacked the way if he 
could direct him to the hall. 

" A dunno, but a can punch thy yead," was the 
giant's immediate reply, and he seemed miserable when 
my father declined to " have it out for half a gallon." 

But worse was to come. 

The hall at last found, the " door " was opened, and 
there was a rush of two to the shilling seats, but those 
two came in with an " order " from the printer and the 
billposter. Then two or three " sixpences " sauntered 
in and began to make themselves disagreeable because 
it was announced that the performance would not start 
until the arrival of the Mayor. The total receipts at 
last amounted to about fifteen shillings, with liabilities 
of seven or eight pounds, when my father's spirits were 
cheered by the arrival of the Mayor, a puffy little 
gentleman, accompanied by a family comprising at least 
a dozen persons. Hastily reckoning them up to produce 
to the speculation a sum of three pounds sterling, my 
father respectfully saluted the chief magistrate and 
added a nervous application for the price of admission. 

" Why, dom it man ! " said Wigan's potentate. 
" What dost thee mean ? I'm th' Mayor, and th' 
patron, and, dom thee, what more dost 'ee want ? " 

So the Mayor and his entourage were " dismissed," 
the " sixpences " were returned, the curtain never rose, 
and the two theatrical adventurers once more sought 
the railway station. 

In spite of these youthful experiences, which were not 
exactly encouraging, my father continued to write and 
to dabble in journalism and play-writing. Amongst his 

26 Myself and Others 

great friends at this time was Mr. M. J. Whitty, the 
editor of the Liverpool " Daily Post," and one of my 
father's favourite stories was of attending a political 
meeting with him in support of Mr. Gladstone's candi- 
dature for South Lancashire. The meeting was held 
in the Liverpool Amphitheatre, and feeling ran high, 
for it was the memorable election at which Mr. Gladstone 
was defeated for Oxford University. It had soon 
become obvious that his seat for the University was lost, 
and he had been nominated for South Lancashire. 

The Amphitheatre was packed, crowds thronged the 
streets outside and Mr. Gladstone's reception was over- 
whelming. My father sat in one of the boxes with Mr. 
Whitty and other friends, and the editor of the " Daily 
Post " grimly hinted that he didn't " think the building 
was strong enough for the noise." 

Mr. Robertson Gladstone was in the chair. Mrs. Glad- 
stone was in a stage-box, and with her sat Mr. W. H. 
Gladstone, who had that day been elected member for 

Mr. Gladstone had begun his speech when a telegram 
was placed in his hand. 

After reading it, he said, with that pathos and dignity 
so peculiarly his own : " I stand before you the rejected 
of Oxford," and the audience received the announce- 
ment with hisses and groans. There was a moment's 
lull, and then one jubilant voice was heard shouting : 
*' Three cheers for Oxford ! " 

Like wolves the indignant audience turned upon the 
unlucky soul who had uttered the fatal words. In vain 
the chairman, the candidate, and other leaders on the 
platform tried to quell the storm, but it was not until 
the tactless gentleman's coat had been torn from his 
back that he was safely landed beside them. Then it 

Myself and Others 27 

was discovered, to the consternation of the audience, 
that he was a prominent local Liberal. 

" Let me complete my speech," he pleaded breath- 
lessly ; " let me complete my speech. What I intended 
to say was : ' Three cheers for Oxford, which has sent us 
such a candidate I ' " 

And the poor old gentleman immediately became the 
lion of the evening, although his coat had a moment 
before been torn from his back. 

My father's association with Liverpool continued for 
some time after he had set up his tent in London, for, in 
conjunction with two of his greatest friends, Tom Cope, 
of tobacco fame, and Hugh Shimmin, he started a 
bright little weekly paper, " The Porcupine," of which 
Mr. Shimmin was the editor, and which achieved much 
more than a local reputation, owing largely to the 
dramatic criticisms and the brilliant "London Letter" — 
the first of its kind — which were contributed by my 
father. In his standard two-volume life of Irving, Mr. 
Austin Brereton quotes largely from the " Porcupine " 

How well I remember that " London Letter ! " 

Like so many writing men, my father loathed the 
manual labour of pen and ink, and when I grew old 
enough he used me as an amanuensis. The political 
parts used to bore me to death, but I revelled in the 
work when we came to the theatrical criticisms. 

His first pantomime, " Little Snow White," was 
produced in Liverpool with great success, one scene in 
particular, of a looking-glass dance, the looking-glass 
being in reality of gauze with another dancer behind it 
— a novelty at the time — creating quite a furore. 
" Little Snow White " was later produced at the Adelphi, 

28 Myself and Others 

with Mrs. John Wood in the title role, and achieved a 
big success. 

Another Liverpool connection which he kept up for 
many years was with the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition 
at the Walker Art Gallery, to which he was the corre- 
sponding honorary secretary in London, and on behalf of 
which he used to visit the studios of the leading artists 
in company with his friends Mr. Philip Rathbone and 
Alderman Samuelson, in order to select pictures for the 
annual show. 


The Savage Club. — " From Grave to Gay." — Maiden Crescent. — Irving, 
the Hares, the Kendals, the Bancrofts and Tom Robertson. — " The 
Dream of Eugene Aram." — An old dance programme. — Artemus Ward. — 
Tom Robertson's struggle for fame. — My first appearance. — The North 
London Collegiate School. — The famous Miss Buss. — Friends for life. — 
Lady Carl Meyer. — A Shakespearean failure. — Saint Peter. — The ambitious 
writing master. — Henry Pettitt. — Snubbing the leading lady. — The 
Grossmiths. — A reluctant model. — Lionel Brough and my mother. — Barry 
Sullivan. — A Zeppelin rehearsal. — Rival godparents. — Adelaide Neilson. — 
Chirgwin. — The Carlton Dramatic Club. — My father's fatal illness. 

AS I look back and try to revive the memories of 
childhood, father seems to me to have been always 
late, always with his pockets full of papers, and 
always surrounded by clever, brilliant friends. 

But while I was very proud of his popularity, it had 
its drawbacks, and one of my earliest recollections is my 
indignant expostulation when he failed to turn up at 
some children's party. 

" Your father couldn't possibly get away in time," 
explained my mother. " He is talking business with 
his clever friends at the Savage Club." 

" I shouldn't like my husband to be a member of the 
Savage Club," I replied primly. 

One of the founders of the Savage Club was my 
father's great friend, the veteran naturalist, W. B. 
Tegetmeier, who died in 191 2 at the great age of ninety- 
six. To-day many people seem to imagine that the 


30 Myself and Others 

name " Savage " was adopted because the members 
were social or artistic " savages," and this idea is kept 
up by the barbaric weapons which hang on the walls 
of the present club, but the " Savage " in the minds of 
the club's godfathers was Richard Savage, the some- 
what disreputable and drunken poet. 

The original members used to meet in what would 
now be called a pot-house off Drury Lane : most of them 
were contributors to " The Train," edited by Edmund 
Yates, and when it was proposed that they should form 
themselves into a literary club other names were debated, 
such as " The Johnson," " The Addison," and " The 
Goldsmith." It was one of the Broughs who suggested 
the name of " Savage." In its early days the club 
moved from tavern to tavern, and at last acquired 
premises of its own in a ground floor flat of Savoy 
Mansions, and the only qualification for membership 
was that a candidate must be a " working man " in 
literature or art. 

Tegetmeier's books on poultry and on pheasants and 
pigeons are still regarded as standard works. 

On his sixty-sixth birthday the Savages gave the old 
gentleman a dinner, and Horace Lennard, one of the 
members, later a member of the staff of the old " Pink 
'Un," and later still one of the four original members of 
the staff of " Town Topics " — the others being Colonel 
Newnham-Davis, Arthur Binstead (" Pitcher "), and 
J. B. Booth — addressed to him some lines of admonition 
in verse : " From Twenty-six to Sixty-six," which were 
afterwards printed and stuck in the Savage Club scrap- 

One verse alluded to Tegetmeier's connection with 
" The Queen," for which paper he wrote the leader for 
many years. Some years later, when the Prince of 

Myself and Others 31 

Wales (afterwards King Edward VII) was about to pay 
a visit to the Club, an over zealous and over anxious 
committeeman cut this verse out of the album, lest it 
should catch the eye of the Royal visitor and give 
offence. That, at least, was his explanation, which 
seemed ludicrous. Even in Queen Victoria's days there 
were more Queens than one. 

Amongst the Savages my father was known by a 
curious nickname, which he acquired in a curious way. 
Some man who owed him money died, leaving him as 
payment for his debt a small monumental mason 
business at Abney Park, which eventually turned out 
to be very prosperous. 

This caused an enormous amount of chaff amongst 
the Savages, for my father was at that time hard at 
work on a pantomime, so he was promptly dubbed : 
*' Charlie Millward, or From Grave to Gay." 

But there were compensations for his membership of 
the Savage. 

With such a father the house at Maiden Crescent 
became a regular meeting place for many folk who were 
then or have since become famous : Irving, the Hares, 
the Kendals, the Bancrofts — it was at Maiden Crescent 
that Sir Squire Bancroft first met Tom Robertson — 
were contant visitors, and every Sunday evening 
certain members of the Savage Club ate a huge hot-pot 
supper — one Sunday at the Millwards' house, the next 
Sunday at Toole's, the next at the Grossmiths', and the 
next at the Hollingsheads'. 

And on the Sundays when the Millwards were enter- 
taining, a small girl, then known as " Cissie " Millward, 
would peep over the banisters to watch the famous 
ones arrive and depart, and when all was safe steal 
downstairs, and crouch outside the drawing-room door 

32 Myself and Others 

to listen to Mr. Irving as he recited " The Dream of 
Eugene Aram." 

Later, when I was a little older and allowed inside 
the sacred room, I heard him recite the " Dream," and I 
can see him now, stretched on the rug before the fire, 
his body slightly raised on one shoulder, and his 
wonderful face resting on his hand, while his eyes shone 
in the firelight like burning coals. 

On those evenings little " Cissie " Millward did not 
always sleep the peaceful sleep of childhood when she 
was sent up to bed after the recitations ! 

But how she thrilled on those occasions, and how 
devoutly she hero-worshipped those famous visitors ! 

Small wonder that I was early possessed with an 
intense love of acting, and looked upon actors and 
actresses as gods and goddesses. 

While turning out some old papers — should one keep 
old papers, I wonder ? Do the happy recollections 
always compensate for the sorrowful ? — I came across a 
little printed relic of a party given in celebration of one 
of my very early birthdays, and the programme of 
dances evokes a host of memories. Here it is : 

The " Barnes " Quadrille. 

The " Toole " Polka. 

The " Polly Brough " Lancers. 

The " Croft " Waltz. 

The " Bessy Hollingshead " Quadrille. 

The " Kingston " Galop. 

The " Cremer " Polka. 

The " Wilson " Schottische. 

The " Burroughs " Lancers. 

" Jessie Millward's " Quadrille. 

The names given to the dances are all those of the 
closest of the family friends. Toole's name needs no 
explanation : he had, by the way, been the former 
tenant of our house. 

Myself and Others 33 

Dear old " Johnny " Toole. With him died the last 
of the amusing practical jokers of the 'sixties and 
'seventies. And unlike so many practical jokes, Toole's 
were essentially harmless and amusing. Everybody 
who was in Toole's company for long was bound, sooner 
or later, to be made an accessory to his pranks, and 
most of those pranks have been written of often enough. 
Now and again someone would undertake to show Toole 
how a practical joke really should be played, and 
amongst such instructors was a well-known racing 
celebrity and man-about-town. 

Going into a Manchester hotel one evening during 
race week, with Toole as his guest, the gentleman in his 
lordliest manner demanded to know what liquid refresh- 
ment was provided for late-comers who were staying in 
the hotel. The slightly bewildered night-porter reeled 
off a list of the bottles of whisky, brandy, soda, beer 
and so forth left in his charge. 

" I buy the lot," said Toole's host. " Bring them to 
the smoke-room," and the puzzled attendant proceeded 
to set forth an extraordinary array of bottles before the 
two eccentric gentlemen. Presently the late-coming 
guests began to arrive, most of them thirsty after a long 
day's racing, and one by one, sooner than go drinkless 
to bed, they came to the smoke-room to beg for a 
whisky and soda, where they were promptly called upon 
to " amuse the company " by way of payment. 

It was probably one of the quaintest impromptu 
smoking concerts ever given, and Toole did his share. 

The story got about Manchester, and while he was 
being shaved in a local barber's shop the barber ex- 
pressed to Toole his delight at shaving such a celebrity. 

" I assure you, sir," he said, " you're such a favourite 
down here that it's a pity you can't always be with us." 


34 Myself and Others 

The actor was properly pleased, and thanked his 
admirer modestly. 

" Yes, sir," continued the artist in soap, " I can 
assure you that all you have to do is to settle down in 
Manchester and keep a public-house and your fortune 
would be as good as made." 

The old Pump Room Hotel at Bath, which was the 
property of the corporation, was one of Toole's favourite 
country hotels, and on one occasion when he was staying 
there John Billington, on entering his room, noticed 
that the city arms were displayed on all the china. 
Commenting on this, Billington remarked that it was 
not so in his room. 

" Have you gout ? " asked Toole. 

" No, thank heavens." 

" Ah, that explains it," said the old man. " In this 
place they only grant the city arms to those who have 

Which, after all, seems as good a reason for " honours " 
as most. 

And how Toole loved to talk racing. Up to the very 
end he would have his little bet every day, just as in 
the old times, when he would exclaim, after backing a 
loser — and many losers did he back — " There goes 
another row of stalls ! " 

There never was an actor-manager more beloved by 
his " boys and girls " than John Toole, and he brought 
out many who came well to the front, among them poor 
Lewis Waller, Seymour Hicks and C. M. Lowne, while 
Miss Violet Vanbrugh was for long a member of Toole's 

On his death, after long years of lingering pain, one 
who knew him well wrote of him : " In every sense of 

Myself and Others 35 

the word he was a good man and, generous to a fault, 
his benevolence knew no bounds." 

It would be difficult to conceive of a finer or truer 
epitaph on a lovable man. 

The " Polly Brough " of that dance programme, 
Lionel Brough's eldest daughter, later became famous 
as that accomplished actress Mary Brough ; the gentle- 
man whose name was borrowed for the lancers was 
Colman Burroughs ; the " Bessy HoUingshead " was 
the daughter of " Honest John," the founder of the 
Gaiety burlesque ; and " Kingston " was the bosom 
friend and agent of Artemus Ward, who was a regular 
visitor to the house, and who one day presented my 
mother with the curious little cane with which he used 
to lecture. 

And immediately a sad memory arises. 

We children were very fond of the thin, frail man with 
the luminous eyes. My father heard that the great 
humorist had died in a hotel at Southampton of con- 
sumption and that his body was to be placed in a stable 
for the night, and promptly interfered. So it came 
about that, hearing a commotion in the house near 
midnight, I crept down the nursery stairs, and looking 
over the banisters was almost frozen with fright as I 
saw a coffin being carried into the drawing-room. The 
next morning my father took me to the florist and 
together we bought a large bunch of violets. When 
we got home he took me into the drawing-room and 
lifting me up told me to lay the violets on the coffin. 

" Where is Mr. Ward's heart ? " I asked, and I placed 
the flowers where I was told. Artemus Ward's body 
was sent to America, to his mother, Mrs. Brown, and 
on the coffin being opened my violets were found w here 
I had laid them. 

c 2 

36 Myself and Others 

One more sad childish memory and then we will turn 
to lighter things. 

A frequent visitor was Tom Robertson, afterwards 
to achieve such fame with " Society " and the plays 
which have given him his place for all time in theatrical 

But in those days fame was still out of sight, and poor 
Robertson was undergoing a terrible struggle for a bare 
existence. One day he called at the house about mid- 
day. My father was out, but my mother asked him to 
join us at the children's midday meal — there were 
seven of us — and the dishes were appropriately sub- 
stantial. A huge rice pudding was on the table, and 
Robertson, after sitting for a while in silence, burst into 

" My children are starving," he sobbed, in answer to 
my mother's horrified questioning. 

The Millward children had very little rice pudding 
that day, and my mother's larder was ransacked. 

Shortly after, the great dramatist's first wife died, 
practically of starvation — and then came the first of his 
successes. Fate can be terribly ironic. 

But to turn to happier memories. 

My positively first appearance on any stage was at 
the mature age of five, when I appeared at the Theatre 
High Hill, 9, Maiden Crescent, as the drummer in 
" Bombastes Furioso." The " Theatre High Hill " was 
the drawing-room, and I am sorry to say that the drum- 
mer mutinied and was carried off the stage screaming. 

For the sake of other names than that of the mutinous 
drummer the programme of this historic revival of the 
terrible tragedy may be interesting to readers of an 
older generation, so I give it in full. The list of dances 
is, to put it mildly, unusual. 

Myself and Others 37 


9, Maiden Crescent. 

(Late 5, Eastcott Place.) 



The Entertainments will commence with 

After which, the Terrible Tragedy of 

Bombastes Mr. Colman Burroughs. 

Artax-oh-my-nose Mr. J. C. Brough. 

Fusbos Dr. Strauss. 

Castle Musician Mr. C. Millward. 

Fifer Master Burroughs. 

Drummer Miss Jessie Millward. 

Distaffina Mrs. Colman Burroughs. 

Soldiers, Punchbowl, Pipes, Boots, etc., etc. 


(which must be SEEN to be believed) 

By Messrs. Barnes, Brunton, etc. 

By Mr. E. Draper. 

By Messrs. Archer, Prowse and Hood. 

By Mr. T. W. Robertson. C.E. 

By Mr. H. S. Leigh. 

By Earl Russell. 

COSTUMES by Mr. S. May. WIGS by Mr. Clarkson. 

By Mr. Paul Bedford. 

Will perform several sleight-of-hand tricks in their usual good-natured 

and slight-off-hand style. 

Introduced by Mr. E. Draper. 

Will oblige. 

Mr. J. L. TOOLE 
Will be " at his Tricks." 

Will introduce his Scotch Friends. 

38 Myself and Others 


Quadrille The Halliday. Brough and JefiFerson. 

Polka The Whitehead, Bingham and Russell. 

Waltz The Nightingale and Pearson. 

Lancers The Croft, Ledger, Walker and Barnes. 

Polka The Archer, Draper, Fryer and Brown. 

Quadrille The Hobbs, Du Terreaux and Thorpe. 

Galop The Strauss, Holhngshead and Brunton. 

Polka The Byron, Clark, Hare and Bancroft. 

Quadrille The Toole, Bedford and Billington. 

Waltz The Greenhalgh and Grossmith. 

Sir Roger de Coverley The Hughes, Henderson and Millward. 

Stage Manager — Mr. Colman Burroughs. 

Prompter — Mr. J. L. Toole. 

Call Boy — Mr. Billington. 

Acting Manager — Mr. C. Millward. 

Doors open at 8, Performance commencing at 7, and terminating at 

6 o'clock. 


But neither the stage-fright nor the resulting mutiny 
cured me of my passion for the stage, and in secret I 
was always acting, living in a little dream-world of my 
own, peopled by the most extraordinarily beautiful and 
haughty fairy princesses, and the handsomest and 
humblest and most devoted knights and squires. 

Then came school. 

I was sent to the North London Collegiate School, a 
huge institution under the head-mistresship of the 
famous Miss Buss, a great character in the scholastic 
circles of those days. 

Miss Buss was an austere old maid, plump and 
excessively dignified, and did not in the least appreciate 
my histrionic efforts when one awful day she caught me 
imitating her. " Impersonations of celebrities," now 
so popular, were not in the curriculum of the North 
London Collegiate School. 

Frankly, I loathed school. All my life I have been in 
a hurry, and I hated to be compelled to move slowly 
and by rule. 

Myself and Others 39 

But my first day at school had its compensations. I 
found myself sitting next to a pretty little girl who 
seemed to be looking at me with unusual interest. 

At last : " What is your name ? " she whispered. 

Now, at home I had always been known as " Cissie," 
but on my first entrance into public life I had determined 
to revert to my more dignified name, so, " Jessie 
Millward " I whispered. 

" Mine's Kate Morton," she went on. " How old are 
you ? " 

" Nine." 

" You are pretty," she whispered. 

This was the pleasant surprise of my young life, for 
at home I was inured to hearing myself described by my 
brothers — in the usual brotherly way young brothers 
have — as " the ugly one," and " all teeth and eyes " ; 
so when the pretty little stranger added, " WeU, let's 
be friends for life," I jumped at the proposal. And we 
have been friends for life, for Kate Morton, who was 
the daughter of Charles Morton, of Palace Theatre 
fame, and married Wilfred Morgan, is one of my^dearest 

After this contract had been entered into, another 
little girl who sat on the other side spoke to me. 

" My name is Adele Levis," she said. 

" And I am Jessie Millward." 

" I don't think I want to make friends with a play- 
wright's daughter," she observed. 

" And I wouldn't dream of makmg friends with an 
india-rubber man's daughter ! " I retorted, for I had 
been told that her people had made money out of 

Even quite little girls can be cattish, you see, and if 
they are made of " sugar, and spice and all that's nice," 

40 Myself and Others 

sometimes manage quite successfully to conceal the 

Adele Levis is now Lady Carl Meyer. 

But, as I have said, on the whole I detested school 
life with its rules and regulations, though my passion 
for acting and recitation made me something of a 
heroine among the other little girls of my age, getting 
me into far higher classes than my general knowledge 
entitled me to, and I was promoted on the strength of 
my recitations to a class the members of which used to 
give Shakespearean readings. 

"Aha!" I said to myself. "I'll show them how 
Shakespeare should be recited ! " But pride not only 
fell but positively bumped. 

1 was chosen for Gratiano in the trial scene from 
" The Merchant of Venice," and got along swimmingly 
until I came to the lines : 

"A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew ! 
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip ! " 

The emphasis, the force, the intensity were all there, 
but never was a rousing piece of declamation more 
indecorously received. For I pronounced "infidel** 
with a long second " i," and amidst roars of laughter 
retired in tears of rage, exactly as I had retired from 
my earher part in *' Bombastes." 

But school girls are no respecters of persons, even 
amongst themselves, and are still less respectful to 
strangers, if that be possible. 

On our way to and from school we used often to meet 
a blonde-bearded, distinguished-looking man with a 
provokingly saintly face at whose appearance we used 
to giggle, and whom we nicknamed Saint Peter. 

Saint Peter was something of a mystery to us ; he 
was invariably to be found strolling about at times 

Myself and Others 41 

when all the other menfolk of our acquaintance were at 
their business, so we concluded that he must be a 
mysterious millionaire. 

But some years after the mystery was solved for me, 
for at my very first rehearsal at the Lyceum I looked 
across the stage and recognized Saint Peter. 

He was Andrew Levey, the first violinist in the Lyceum 

My brothers went to the North London Collegiate 
School for boys, in the now unfashionable district of 
Camden Town, where poor old Cobden stands in 
statuesque isolation and mournfully regards the land- 
scape. One day the young writing master, who had 
theatrical ambitions which soared high above his tiny 
salary as a writing master, took my brother Herbert 

" I hear your father is a literary man," he said. " 1 
should so much like to meet him." 

Herbert, by no means sorry to put a taskmaster under 
an obligation, spoke to my mother, and the young 
writing master was invited to one of the weekly evening 
parties, where he met Toole, Irving, the Bancrofts, the 
Hares and the Grossmiths. 

In those days the salary of a writing master at even 
a big school did not run into fantastic figures. The 
hire of a dress suit for the evening made a large hole in 
the weekly accounts, but the young man evidently 
deemed it worth while, for after a day or two's serious 
thought he called on my mother and asked her advice 
as to the wisdom of abandoning the copperplate and 
pothook line of writing for writing for the stage. 

My dear mother strongly advised him to stick to the 
unexciting but certain copperplate form of literature — 
which advice he did not take. 

42 Myself and Others 

Some years later, as the story-books say, when the 
writing master had become famous as Henry Pettitt, 
" httle Cissie Millward " who had blossomed into Jessie 
Millward, played the heroine in ** Harbour Lights " and 
many other successful plays by the ambitious young 
man who had refused to take advice, and who always 
vowed that the hiring of a dress suit was the finest 
investment he ever made, and was the turning point 
in his career. 

And when, in those later days, I used to complain 
that the author did not treat me at rehearsal with the 
respect due to a *' leading lady," but would actually 
address me by my childish name, he would make 
matters worse by explaining that somehow or other he 
could never forget me in socks. Nor, I am afraid, did 
I always treat " H.P." with the respect due to a famous 
playwright for a somewhat similar reason, and I well 
remember the sternness of his reproof one day at rehearsal 
when the vision of a tall, lanky man, with a hooked nose, 
leaping irritably on a chair, extending his arms, and 
snapping : " Imagine this is a tree and that you are 
making love under it ! " was too much for the leading 
lady and she became semi-hysterical with laughter. 

" H.P.'s " indignant reproof was up to his best school- 
master form, and Jessie Millward, "leading lady" as 
she was, once more felt very small " Cissie." 

The Grossmiths, who lived near us at Haverstock 
Hill, were amongst our more intimate friends, and my 
father was godfather to the present George. 

1 myself, though a small child, was occasionally 
useful to Weedon — Walter, as he was then called — 
and his brother George. 

For example, having adopted photography as a 
hobby, the two boys called round one morning with a 

Myself and Others 43 

request to " lend us Cissie for a model for our 


Cissie was lent, and — it was not the days of instan- 
taneous photography — ^was snatched from her play and, 
with rumpled frock, scratched knees, and grubby socks, 
was posed under a mulberry tree for hours. 

Plate after plate was exposed, and the wretched model 
was left at intervals, with strict injunctions not to move, 
while the plates were hurriedly developed in the stable 
of their house in Haverstock Hill. 

At last she burst into tears of rage in her best " Bom- 
bastes " tradition and demanded to go home. 

The sticking-plaster on her knees and the grubby 
socks were the most prominent features in those early 
efforts of the photographic firm of Grossmith. 

A few years later, as a more or less dignified schoolgirl, 
I stood outside the church to watch George Grossmith' s 
wedding leave, and celebrated the occasion by picking up 
a lucky sixpence, which was, perhaps, some small com- 
pensation for my trials as a model for the bridegroom. 

Another old friend of the family was Lionel Brough — 
it was he who was largely instrumental in persuading 
my mother to go to a fancy dress ball at Knightsbridge, 
given, I think, for members of the stage. My mother 
was very dark, and her Spanish costume — which I am 
sure was the only fancy dress she ever wore — suited 
her striking type of beauty to perfection. My father, 
who was dressed as a barrister, helped my mother out 
of the four-wheeler, and to her surprise went quickly 
into the barracks. For a moment she stood bewildered, 
and was about to follow him when her arm was seized 
by a police-constable. 

*' You ought to know better than that ! " said the 
constable severely. 

44 Myself and Others 

"What do you mean?" demanded my mother 
indignantly. " How dare you ? " 

" Come, come, you ought to know better than that ! *' 

" Charles ! Charles ! Come back, I am insulted ! " 
called my mother, but my father had disappeared. 

" Now don't let's have a fuss," said her tormentor 
sternly. " No one knows better than you that only 
respectable people are admitted in there." Then, 
seeing the real distress of my poor mother, who in spite 
of her Bohemian and theatrical surroundings was 
respectabiUty incarnate, and only tolerated the theatre 
as a necessary evil, the constable whipped off his helmet 
and revealed himself as Lionel Brough. 

My dear mother's attitude to the stage was always 
one of bare toleration, which to me, as a child, seemed 
extraordinary and inexplicable, for so many of my 
theatrical gods and goddesses were her intimate and 
cherished friends. 

As individuals she loved them, but their profession 
left her cold, and to my infant amazement she never 
even thrilled when one momentous afternoon the great 
Barry Sullivan himself, the typical tragedian of the old 
school, with heavy ever-working eyebrows and deep 
rolling voice, called to present her with a clock and two 
candlesticks, each of which had its own little glass case 
of the period. 

1 don't remember that I was particularly 
impressed by the articles under the glass cases, but 
I positively quivered at the notes of Barry Sullivan's 

As I have told, Barry Sullivan had been one of my 
father's earhest " subjects " for dramatic criticism in 
the Liverpool days, and a great friendship had arisen 
between the critic and the criticized. 

Myself and Others 46 

In those early provincial days they frequently acted 
together, the great tragedian more than once coming 
to the assistance of the amateur dramatic club of which 
my father was a prominent member. And in this 
connection I am reminded of a favourite family story 
of a certain production of Richard III, in which the 
part of Catesby was taken by an ambitious amateur, 
and the wicked King was played by Sullivan. 

The amateur, either from lack of study or from sheer 
nervousness, was none too perfect in his words, but he 
managed to struggle through the early portion of the 
tragedy without disgracing himself, and even drew 
enthusiastic applause from his admiring friends. 

Then came the great tent scene. 

Starting from his knees at the conclusion of the 
dream : 

" Who's there ? " cried the guilty king. 

'* 'Tis — 'tis I, my lord, the early village cock " 

stammered Catesby and " dried up." 

Barry Sullivan surveyed his tongue-tied officer for a 
few moments with a sardonic grin. 

" Then why the devil don't you crow ? " he growled. 

Long years afterwards, as the story-books say, when 
Barry Sullivan was famous in two continents, a public 
banquet was given to him at the Alexandra Palace on 
the eve of his departure for a tour in the States in July, 
1875. The majority of those present were members of 
the Savage Club, of which the actor had recently been 
made a member, and the Earl of Dunraven, as the 
chairman, presented the guest with an illuminated 
address, the reading of which was entrusted to my 
father, who was then Secretary of the Club. This 
address bore the names of the Earl of Dunraven, Lord 
William Lennox, Andrew Halliday, Charles Millward, 

46 Myself and Others 

James Albery, E. L. Blanchard, F. B. Chatterton, 
William Creswick, John S. Clarke, Ed. Falconer, 
Joseph Hatton, George Honey, Howard Paul, E. A. 
Sothern, Charles Wyndham, John Billington, Benjamin 
Webster and many other well-known folk in theatrical, 
literary and Savage circles. 

Another childish memory is of a great explosion by 
the Regent's Park Canal, and of tearing down with my 
father to see if Joe Hatton and his family were safe. 
Several houses had been shattered, but the Hattons' 
was unharmed, although a few doors off the house of 
the famous entertainers, the Howard Pauls, was badly 
damaged, glass from the windows having been blown ia 
all round Mrs. Howard Paul's bed, and by some extra- 
ordinary freak her petticoat had been found waving like 
a flag from the balcony. At Alma Tadema's house 
near by, the windows were smashed, but a huge vase 
which stood on his balcony was untouched- 
All of which was a mild rehearsal for Zeppelin experi- 
ences in after-life. 

A constant visitor to the house in Maiden Crescent 
was Andrew Halliday, the author of many plays, 
including " Amy Robsart," " The Lady of the Lake," 
in which the beautiful Adelaide Neilson appeared, and 
" For Love or Money," a comedy with which the present 
Vaudeville Theatre opened on i6th April, 1870. 

The comedy was not a success, although the part of 
Alfred Skimmington, " a handsome West End swell, 
who is currently reputed to be worth j(^3,ooo a year, but 
who has not given his attention too closely to morals," 
was played by Henry Irving. 

One Sunday Halliday looked into our nursery, which 
then contained seven inhabitants, and observed vaguely : 
" Let me see, one of you is my godson." 

Myself and Others 47 

My brother Harry promptly retorted : " Yes, I am. 
But you've never given me anything." 

Probably feeling that his responsibilities as a god- 
parent ought to be no longer neglected : " Learn your 
catechism," said Halliday, " and I'll give you a watch 
and chain." 

Harry was a quick study, and was soon in possession 
of a watch and chain. 

Another frequent Sunday visitor, Stephen Fiske, 
proprietor of a very lively journal called " The Hornet," 
and a dramatic critic of great English and American 
reputation, on hearing of Halliday's assumption of a 
godparent's responsibilities, felt his conscience smite 
I him. 

" By Gad ! " he cried remorsefully, " one of them's 
my godchild ! " But nobody claimed him. 

Nevertheless, next week a little Scotch suit and a 
watch arrived, addressed " To my godson.' 

The godfather's intentions were admirable, but, alas ! 
the godson was a god-daughter — my sister Lil. 

The mention of Adelaide Neilson reminds me that she 
was the first actress I saw. She was playing Juliet at 
the Adelphi Theatre and my father took me round to 
her dressing-room. I remember that I never thought 
anyone could possibly be half so beautiful. 

The speechless adoration of the stage-struck school- 
girl must have touched her, for she took from her neck 
a large Maltese cross of opals and gave it to me, saying : 
" There, Httle girl, I hope that will be the heaviest cross 
you will ever have to bear." 

I wore that cross as Hero in my first success at the 
Lyceum of Irving's day. 

As my father had a considerable reputation as a 
writer of pantomimes and lyrics, many " stars " of the 

48 Myself and Others 

pantomime stage used to call upon him bringing with 
them songs for him to re-write, and as I grew older one 
of my delights was to play the accompaniments while 
the new words were being " tried over " with the visitor. 

Chirgwin, who afterwards achieved music-hall fame 
as " The White-eyed Kaffir," was one such visitor^ and 
I well remember the tiny white dog which he brought 
with him and carried in his arms. My powers as 
a musician impressed him greatly, for when I had 
finished he turned to my mother, saying with the 
most stately politeness : " Madam, may I be allowed 
to embrace your little daughter ? " 

The song which he had tried over was for his first 
appearance in pantomime — a pantomime written by 
my father for the Theatre Royal, Birmingham — and in 
one of his last articles in the " Referee " George R. Sims 
referred to him as being extremely nervous but the real 
success of the production, and as helping to make the 
fortunes of Mercer Simpson. 

And so passed my childhood and early girlhood, in an 
atmosphere which was a fascinating mixture of jour- 
nalism and the stage, and in a dream-world in which I 
played countless imaginary parts. 

But quite early I realized that there were material 
benefits attached to the drama, on however humble a 
scale that drama might be. 

Once a month we had Dorcas meetings at school, at 
which the conscientious and model girls sewed reli- 
giously for the benefit of their souls, and to my delight 
I was invariably chosen to read aloud to the sewers and 
not to sew. My choice of readings and my dramatic 
sensibilities must have vastly astonished my audience 
at times, and I well remember the whole Dorcas meeting 
laying down its collective needle and staring in open- 

Myself and Others 49 

mouthed amazement when one afternoon I broke down 
and sobbed, completely overcome at my own reading of 
" Misunderstood." 

Needless to say, to a small girl with such tendencies 
visits to the theatre were events of delirious interest, 
but I am afraid that so little could she foresee the future 
that even in her wildest dreams the schoolgirl " Cissie " 
Millward, when she paid her very first visit to a real 
theatre and saw the Vokes family at Drury Lane, never 
imagined that she herself would one day be the " leading 
lady " on that very stage. 

Nor later, when she paid her second visit to a real 
theatre, the Adelphi, to see her father's pantomime 
" Little Snow White," the girl who had never seen her- 
self in a looking-glass, in which Mrs. John Wood played 
the part of Little Snow White, did the small enthusiast 
dare to picture herself as the heroine of Adelphi drama. 

The days at Maiden Crescent passed happily, and 
then the Millward family moved to Crowndale House, 
Oakley Square, N.W. 

By this time I was growing up into a " young lady," 
with stage ambitions as firmly rooted as ever, and I 
found an outlet for my dramatic energy in joining the 
Carlton Dramatic Club. 

Then an event occurred which altered our careers. 

My father had a paralytic stroke, and it was necessary 
for us all to earn our livings. 


Choosing a career- — Mrs. Kendal.— An unpromising start. — " Walking 
on." — A lecture on my presumption. — Toole.—" Can I have your 
theatre ? " — " Of course." — Billington's horror. — A successful matinee. — 
With the Kendals. — The matron of the drama and an " unmaidenly 
performance." — An indiscreet enthusiast. — Brandon Thomas. — An un- 
sympathetic atmosphere.— Mrs. Kendal and Irving. — I achieve my 
ambition. — Miss Genevieve Ward. — A letter from Irving. — Edward 
Ledger's suggestion. — " Can Irving afford five pounds a week ? " — Irving 
asks me to play Hero. — The question of salary. — Shillings or pounds ? — 
I meet William Terriss. — My first Lyceum rehearsal. — Miss Terry's 
sympathy. — Great teachers. — A friend for life. 

ON my father's fatal illness, after having enjoyed 
the luxuries of life we found ourselves in strait- 
ened circumstances, and it was necessary for 
those of us who were able to do so to earn our own 

For myself, I never had a moment's doubt as to the 
career I should choose. 

" Would you like to be a governess ? " suggested my 

There was only one answer to that question, and I 
gave it. School life, even with the possibility of 
escaping it, had never appealed to me. The prospect 
of an eternal school life was appalling. 

So I plucked up courage. 

" No," I said definitely, and then plucked up more 
courage. " I think I should like to go on the stage." 


Myself and Others 51 

In view of my mother's attitude towards the stage as 
a profession I expected an indignant refusal, but to my 
astonishment and delight, after a few moments' thought, 
she replied quietly : 

" Very well, if you really think that is your vocation, 
you may go on the stage, provided you start under Mrs. 

There was nothing "raffish' or Bohemian about 
Mrs. Kendal, even in those somewhat Bohemian days, 
and not for nothing did she become known as the matron 
of the British drama. 

In my excitement at such an easy consent to what I 
had long looked upon as an impossible ambition, I 
would have accepted any condition, so, making myself 
look as old and as prim as possible, in a poke bonnet 
and a long skirt I sallied down to the St. James's Theatre, 
and saw Mrs. Kendal. 

Her first words were not encouraging. I explained 
my desire, and then : 

" How old are you ? " she asked abruptly. 
" Eighteen." 

" My dear, you are telling lies ; you are twenty-five 
at the verv least." 

I forget whether I had my birth certificate with me, 
but I succeeded in convincing her that I was telling the 

At the same time, I could not help feeling that the 
start was not particularly promising. 

After some more conversation on similar lines, I was 
told that out of friendship for my father I might be 
permitted to " walk on " in the Kendal Company. 

The phrase " walk on " was beyond me, and I asked 
for an explanation. I got it. 

D 2 

52 Myself and Others 

" But," I cried, half in tears, " I don't want to ' walk 
on ' ; I want to act ! " 

As I look back, I shiver at my audacity. 

Then, I vaguely remember, followed a lecture, point- 
ing out my unheard-of presumption, my utter lack of 
fitness for the stage, my youthful callowness, and a few 
other pleasant little home truths. 

" But I want to act," I kept on repeating obstinately, 
and obstinacy at last led to a practical suggestion. 

" Can you afford to give a matinee and invite the 
critics ? " 

I shook my head. For financial reasons, a special seemed out of the question. 

Then I had a flash of inspiration, and leaving the St. 
James's Theatre I hurried round to the Folly, and asked 
to see our old family friend, John Toole. 

He was in his dressing-room, talking with his manager, 
John Billington, when I was shown in, and seemed 
rather surprised to see me. 

" Hullo 1 " he cried. " It's little ' Cissie ' Millward ! 
What do you want, my dear ? " 

" I want to go on the stage ! " I blurted. 

" Good ! " said the dear old man encouragingly. 

" And I want to give a special matinee ! " 

" Splendid 1 " 

" And — and — can I have your theatre ? " 

" Of course ! " 

" Come," said I to myself, " it is not hard to get on 
the stage after all 1 " 

" And when do you want the theatre ? " asked 

Now for my " support " I was relying on my fellow 
members of the Carlton Dramatic Club, and I knew 

"^7v'\^^\^^*b U^^'X^' 


Caricature by Sir Herbert Tree 


Myself and Others 53 

that all the male members were engaged during the 
week in the sordid pursuits of their sordid businesses 
and professions. Obviously, a half-holiday was the 
only day for my " special matinee.^^ 

" Can I have it on Saturday afternoon ? " I asked in 
all innocence, and to this day I can see Billington's 

But kind old Toole never moved an eyelash. 

" Er — haven't / a matinee on Saturday, Billington ? " 
he asked. 

*' You have," said Billington grimly. 

Something in Billington's face and manner roused me 
to desperation. And after all it did seem rather absurd. 
Here was Mr. Toole, a famous actor, who could have a 
matinee any day in the week he pleased, while Saturday 
was the only day I could choose. 

" But can't you have your matinee another day ? " 
I pleaded. " You see, it's fearfully important for me." 

" Of course I can," replied Toole, as if the idea was 
entirely new to him ; " of course I can. Billington, 
see that things are arranged, and do what you can for 

And so in huge elation I rushed off to find the amateur 
stage manager of our dramatic society, the Carlton 
Dramatic Club, who as soon as he heard the news was in 
as huge a state of elation as myself. 

The society had already played " Love's Sacrifice " 
at St. George's Hall, so we at once decided to give it 
at the Folly, with a comedy scene from " The Hunch- 
back," with John Billington as Modus and myself as 

The excitement of my fellow members at playing in a 
real theatre, on a real stage, to a real audience, with real 

54 Myself and Others 

critics can be imagined, and when it was all over we 
had a banquet, in the course of which my grateful and 
enthusiastic company presented their equally grateful 
and enthusiastic actress-manageress with two silver 
bracelets to commemorate the great event. 

And there was little doubt about the success of the 
viativer from my point of view, for, as an immediate 
result, I had offers from the Kendals, from Mr. Hare, 
from the Bancrofts for " Ours," from Edgar Bruce for 
" The Colonel," and from dear old Toole for the part of 
leading lady in " Uncle Dick's Darling." 

It was indeed a happy afternoon, and in the course 
of it Mrs. Kendal had visited my mother's box and 
announced definitely that she would engage me — " but 
she does the most ridiculous things." 

So, in pursuance of my mother's wishes, my first 
professional engagement, after all, was with the Kendals, 
and I made my first professional appearance as Mrs. 
Mildmay in " Still Waters Run Deep," and as the 
ingenue in " Coralie," following Miss Winifred Emery 
in the part. 

The tour — for we started immediately on tour — 
included Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, and 
in Liverpool a terrible episode occurred. 

My father, as proprietor of the " Porcupine," 
was well known in the Mersey city, and for his sake, 
many of his friends had taken seats to give a welcome 
to his daughter on her first dramatic essay. So it came 
about that on my entrance in the leading juvenile part 
I received for the first time in my life an enthusiastic 
reception, which so completely upset me that instead 
of waiting for my guardian in the play (John Hare) to 
kiss me I rushed up to him and kissed him. 

Myself and Others 55 

No sooner had the curtain fallen on the first act than 
Mrs. Kendal sent for me to her dressing-room. 

After some severe remarks on decorum, she con- 
cluded her reproof by describing my lapse as " the 
most unmaidenly performance I have ever seen in my 
life ! " 

Not for nothing did Mrs. Kendal earn her title of 
matron of the drama. 

Naturally enough, I was completely upset for the rest 
of the evening, although I don't think my " unmaidenly 
performance " had any particularly distressing effect 
on Sir John Hare, who, after all, was the person chiefly 

After a short tour we returned to the St. James's 
Theatre, and I played in a one-act play by Clement 
Scott, "The Cape Mail," with Mrs. Kendal, Gaston 
Murray and Brandon Thomas. 

Once again an indiscreet enthusiast nearly got me 
into serious trouble. 

On my insignificant entrance in " The Cape Mail " — 
which preceded " The Squire " — my young brother, 
who had gone into the gallery to see his sister, some- 
what upset his neighbours by his enthusiastic shouts of 
" Bravo ! Bravo ! " before I had spoken a single word. 

" S'sh ! S'sh ! " hissed the galleryites. 

" I shan't s'sh ! " cried my young brother indignantly. 
" She's my sister ! Bravo ! Bravo ! " 

It was during my engagement with the Kendals that 
I first met Brandon Thomas. 

He had been a drawing-room entertainer, but his 
ambition, like mine, had led him to the stage, and at 
that time he was going through a hard struggle for fame 
with indomitable pluck. 

56 Myself and Others 

After one long and late rehearsal, with his invariable 
courtesy he asked if he could escort me home, and, 
having an idea that at that particular moment he was 
dreadfully hard-up, I insisted on walking, though the 
'bus fare was only twopence. 

Long afterwards, when I was playing at the Adelphi 
in " The Swordman's Daughter," adapted from the 
French by Brandon Thomas and Clement Scott, I 
reminded him of that walk, and he admitted that my 
suspicions had been horribly correct. 

Brandon Thomas was one of those sincere and true 
types — all too rare, unfortunately — whom success is 
unable to change or spoil. 

I frankly admit that I was not particularly happy at 
the St. James's. Possibly it may have been because, 
temperamentally, we were as opposite as the poles, but 
there was always something about Mrs. Kendal's manner 
and attitude that took all enthusiasm and ambition out 
of me. 

I was a very young girl at the time, full of wild 
enthusiasm for my art ; very immature and untrained, 
no doubt, but, like most young enthusiasts, almost 
morbidly sensitive, and it did not, for example, comfort 
me in the least when one day, in sheer despair, I cried : 
" Oh, shall I ever be able to use my hands properly ! " 
to be told promptly and primly : " Never^ my dear. 
Tou were not born on the stage." 

No, I'm afraid we were not sympathetic. 

In later days, when I had joined the Irving company, 
Mrs. Kendal, who was in a box at the Lyceum, sent for 
me between the acts. 

" I dare say you think you have done better for 
yourself, Miss Millward," she observed consolingly. 

Myself and Others 67 

" Personally, I think him laughable, and I sit in the box 
and smile and wonder at his success. But there is a type 
of girl who goes on the stage and whose only ambition is a 
carriage, sealskins and diamonds." 

Not long after — the wonderful revival of " Much 
Ado about Nothing " had brought me my first taste of 
real success, and I had gained confidence in myself — 
I was driving down the Haymarket and saw Mr. Kendal. 
I stopped the carriage and spoke to him. 

" Do tell Mrs. Kendal that she was quite right," I 
begged him. " I have achieved my ambition ; I have 
got a carriage, at three-and-sixpence the hour ; I have 
got a very small pair of diamond ear-rings, given to me 
by my mother ; and I have got a sealskin coat I bought 
off the wardrobe mistress at the Lyceum for eight 

The poor man stared, but promised faithfully to 
deliver the message. 

With the Kendals, then, I made my debut as a pro- 
fessional actress, but I did not stay long with them. I 
was very young, very anxious to learn, very sensitive 
and very ambitious, and the Kendal atmosphere was 
very crushing. 

So I determined to leave them and it, and I have 
always counted it as a piece of good fortune that my 
next professional engagement was with that great 
actress Miss Genevieve Ward. She engaged me to 
play the part of Ahce Verney in " Forget Mc Not," and 
my six weeks' provincial tour with her was one of the 
turning-points of my career. 

Miss Ward was a severe but a helpful critic ; I felt 
that she understood and sympathized with the ambitions 
of the very ambitious novice. Merciless where bad or 

58 Myself and Others 

careless work was concerned, she was ever helpful and 
charitable in matters of mere rawness and inexperience, 
and where she saw that, however inadequate the 
execution and technique might be, the intention was 
good, she was indefatigable in help and advice. I owe 
more than I can say to the lessons in acting which she 
went out of her way to give a novice to whom she was 
paying a salary. 

Owing to the salary, I fear I must have become 
almost objectionably conceited. To be a real, live 
actress, to have five golden sovereigns a week of my 
very own, instead of the schoolgirl's ten shillings pocket 
money, to be travelling all over the country in the 
company of a celebrity, to be free and independent — 
all this was more than enough to turn the head of a 
girl whose hair had not long been out of pigtails. 

And I was tremendously happy. 

Everybody was so kind to me ; everybody was so 
helpful ; and I felt that at last I was on the right road 
to learning in the art I adored. 

It was a very happy company ; the tour lay through 
very interesting parts of England — all new to me — and 
the expeditions we made to see the local sights were 
fascinating experiences. 

One such expedition will ever remain in my mind. 

A picnic to Chatsworth had been arranged, and when 
in the morning I arrived at the stage door — wc always 
met at the theatre for our " outings " — the stage door- 
keeper handed me a letter in familiarly illegible hand- 
writing. I opened it, glanced at the signature, and, 
being far too excited about the day's expedition, stuffed 
it into my bag, saying : " I can't possibly bother to read 
it now, Irving's writing takes hours to understand ! " 

Myself and Others 59 

Conceited little thing ! I knew at a glance it was from 
our old friend, and imagined that he was anxious to hear 
how I was getting on. It seemed very kind of him, of 
course, but his writing was awful, and besides his 
anxiety seemed rather unnecessary, for was I not 
receiving five whole pounds a week ? 

At the theatre in the evening, Mr. W. H. Vernon, who 
was our leading man, said : " I hear you have had a 
letter from Irving. What does he say ? " 

I handed it to him. 

" I can never make head or tail of his writing," I 
said. " Do read it to me." 

Mr. Vernon studied the letter for some time, and then 
handed it back to me with an air of reverence. 

" Good heavens, child," he said in awe-struck tones. 
" He wants you to play Hero in ' Much Ado About 
Nothing ' and to understudy Ellen Terry. And you've 
only been on the stage for a few weeks ! " 

I afterwards heard how the wonderful piece of good 
fortune came to me. 

Irving had been worried about the casting of the part 
of Hero, and dining one night with another old friend of 
ours, Mr. Edward Ledger, of the " Era," he started to 
discuss his problem. 

" The actress I have in mind," he said, " must be 
young, brown-eyed, and, above all, be capable of being 
taught to act." 

*' Why not try Charlie Millward's daughter ? " asked 
Mr. Ledger. 

" Why, yes ! " exclaimed Irving. " I wonder I never 
thought of her. That is the exact type I want, but can 
she act ? " 

60 Myself and Others 

" Well," was the reply, " of course she's absolutely- 
inexperienced, but I'm sure she has it in her. She is 
ambitious, and I think you could teach her." 

But the two old friends had counted without Miss 

Miss Millward was very happy. For the first time 
in her life Miss Millward was quite independent — was 
she not earning a whole five pounds a week ? — and Miss 
Millward was very reluctant indeed to leave the kind 
people who were doing so much to help her and instruct 
her in her artistic path. 

Besides, there was the commercial side to be con- 
sidered. Of course Mr. Irving was an old friend — but 
would he give a whole five pounds a week and instruc- 
tion as well ? 

So the young Miss Millward wrote condescendingly 
and non-committingly to the Lyceum manager, saying 
that she was glad to hear from him, that she would be 
in town in a few weeks' time, and would then call to see 

Irving rose to the occasion, and the gentle irony of 
the great actor's reply to the ex-schoolgirl was exquisite. 

" I also," he wrote, '* shall be in town in a few weeks' 
time, and shall be delighted if you will call and see me." 

They were then playing the great revival of " Romeo 
and Juliet " at the Lyceum ! 

But for the rest of that tour there was little peace for 
me. Hardly a day passed but Miss Ward sent for me 
and impressed on me the tremendous privilege of 
studying under such a master ; the company, when they 
got to know of it, never ceased to din into my ears the 
magnificence of the chance which had been offered me. 
But, for me, I felt like a child changing schools, and 

Myself and Others 61 

leaving one in which I had been tremendously happy 
for a new and strange one which might be even worse 
than merely uncomfortable. 

Besides, there was the five pounds a week to be 
considered. Could Mr. Irving afford so much a that ? 

However, the tour came to an end, and finding myself, 
almost against my will, back in town, I condescended to 
call at the Lyceum. 

I remember well that I was horribly frightened when 
I was shown into Mr. Irving's room. 

And here let me say that, though I worshipped Irving, 
it was long before I ceased to be afraid of him. In some 
subconscious way I may have connected him with the 
terrific " Eugene Aram " of my childhood days, but for 
long there was a mysterious fascination about him that 
almost hypnotized me into a state of awe. 

He knew this, and I am sure it amused him. 

And it is indeed comical to think of anyone being 
afraid of Irving, for in reality there never existed a 
kindlier, gentler, more generous, or more courtly spirit. 
Curiously enough, if I was abashed, self-conscious, and 
tongue-tied when I met him off the stage, I never once 
felt this nervousness when acting with him. 

Well, half-scared out of my wits, I entered his room, 
and he received me with that wonderful charm of 
manner which was his peculiar property. 

He told me that he wanted me to play Hero in the 
forthcoming production of " Much Ado about Nothing," 
to understudy Miss Terry, and to play all ingenue parts. 
" And then," he concluded, " I shall want you to come 
to America with us." 

This plunge into the unknown absolutely appalled 

62 Myself and Others 

"Oh," I cried, " I couldn't possibly come to America. 
You see I live in London." 

" Well, well," he replied soothingly, " we won't 
bother about America just now. It won't be for some 
time, in any case." 

And then he went on to explain at great length that 
it was the custom at the Lyceum to provide everything 
for the members of the company — dresses, wigs, shoes, 
gloves — " everything," he kept repeating, with an 
emphasis which I could not quite understand. 

I remember saying to myself : " Now, why is he telling 
me all this ? " and a sudden, horrid thought struck me — 
" Because I shall have to take a very small salary." 

" And now," continued Irving, " what about salary ?" 

" Yes," said I to myself. " What about salary ? " 
I saw myself returning to my old pocket-money of ten 
shillings a week, but I was far too nervous to utter one 
word of protest. 

" How much have you been getting with Miss W^ard ? " 

" Five pounds a week ! " I managed to gasp de- 

" H'm," said Irving, stroking his chin quieth" with 
his beautiful hand — and Irving had the most wonder- 
fully beautiful hands — "" I shouldn't dream of giving 
you that." 

" I knew it ! " I told myself. " Dresses, wigs, gloves, 
shoes, ' everything ' found — no, it's the old ten shillings 
a week again." 

I tried one little protest. 

" But I am bound to Miss Ward, Mr. Irving." 

" I know, I know ; but she tells me she will release 
you. She thinks it will be for your good. Of course 
I shan't give you five pounds a week." 

Myself and Others 63 

" Of course not," I groaned despairingly, and then to 
myself : " Ten shillings a week again." 

" For the first year I will give you twelve, and for 
the second year fifteen." 

I ventured to mumble something about fifteen 
shillings not being very much, even if dresses and 
everything else were provided. 

Irving laughed. 

" You don't quite understand," he began, and a mad, 
incredible idea flashed across my mind. 

" You — you — you don't mean pounds ? " I stam- 
mered, and, smiling, he explained that pounds were 
precisely what he did mean. 

I was too flabbergasted to speak. 

" And then, as to America," he resumed. " I m_ay 
want vou to go to America, and if so, of course I shall 
give you more — say twenty pounds." 

Again I declared that America was out of the question. 
My home, my family, were in England ; and America 
seemed a terribly long way off. I felt I couldn't 
possibly go to a strange country in the company of 

" Haven't vou a brother who'd like to see the 
country ? " said Irving suddenly. 

" I have a brother apprenticed to the White Star 
Line," I admitted. 

" Well, a trip to America would do him good." 

And so that matter was arranged. 

A week or so later a very young and very nervous 
actress went down to Margate with her mother for a 
short holiday, taking with her the part of Hero. 

Walking on the jetty one day I was introduced to 
Mr. Terriss, who was, I knew, to be in the great revival. 

64 Myself and Others 

and, trembling with pride, I informed him that I was 
to play Hero. 

" Nonsense ! " he laughed. " You're going to walk 
on, and you can think yourself a very lucky girl to have 
even that privilege." 

It was only human nature to do a secret " gloat," so 
I produced the part and showed it to him, though his 
surprise was not very flattering. 

The short holiday — which was not altogether a 
holidav — soon came to an end, and I returned to town 
for the serious business of rehearsals. And let me tell 
the younger generation that rehearsals at the Lyceum 
were indeed a serious business. 

Never shall I forget my feelings as I approached the 
theatre for my first rehearsal. 

Four times at least did I walk away from the stage 
door before I plucked up courage to enter, and when I 
at last found a green room where the " extra " ladies 
and gentlemen were — most of them seemed to have 
grown up in the Lyceum — things were little better, for 
the nervousness was at once rather severely criticized 
by the old hands. 

" So you're to play Hero," observed one lady. " Well* 
you don't look the part." 

" Oh, yes, she looks it, dear," remarked another 
cheerfully, " but " 

And she left the inference that I couldn't play it 

If it was possible, I was feeling more lonely and more 
miserable than ever, when in came Miss Terry. 

Seeing my nervousness, she came up to me at 

Myself and Others 66 

*' Come along to the stage with me, my dear," she 
said. *' You'll hold my hand all through this rehearsal, 
and to-morrow you will be able to walk alone." 

And so all through that rehearsal I metaphorically 
held her hand, but it was many a day before I learned 
to " walk alone " in my art, and never should I have 
done so but for the wonderful kindness, patience and 
sympathy of those great artists and great teachers 
Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. 

And at that first rehearsal Mr. Terriss came up to rre 
with outstretched hand. 

" Hullo, ' Cissie ' Millward ! " he cried cheerily, " so 
you are Hero after all ! " 

" ' Miss Millward ' to people in the theatre, please, 
Mr. Terriss," I retorted, very much on my new dignity. 

" Nonsense," said he. " Here's my hand ; take it, 
and you'll have a friend for life." 

I took his hand, and he was my friend from that day 
until the terrible day, when I sat holding his hand while 
life ebbed from the wound made by a murderer's knife. 



The Lyceum routine. — Barry, the stage door-keeper.— -The rule 
as to letters and telegrams. — " Behind the scenes." — Mr. Gladstone. — 
Irving's dressing-room. — A painful recollection. — Loveday's economy. — 
I cry for new dresses. — On tenterhooks. — Hysterics at rehearsal. — " Do 
it again."- — The Lyceum rehearsals. — A sharp little lesson. — Incessant 
work. — Mr. Fernandez gives me advice. — The rehearsals for " Much Ado 
about Nothing." — Saving an explosion. — A triumphant " first night." — 
A " call " for criticism. — Pride and a fall. — Lunch with Tennyson. — The 
Laureate's comment. — Sir Johnston Forbes Robertson. — Sir George 
Alexander. — Sir Martin Harvey " walks on." — Mr. Mead.— Some " Mead- 
isms." — Mr. Howe. — Repertoire. — Irving's first American tour. 

IT is, I know, a popular idea that the " behind the 
scenes " of a theatre must be a very amusing place, 
where all is fun and frivolity and nothing is taken 
seriously. Every actor and actress, of course, knows 
better, but I fancy that many professionals of the 
younger generation would be a trifle amazed if they 
were suddenly confronted with the strict routine of the 
Lyceum of Irving's day. 

A short description of the regime behind the curtain 
may not be uninteresting. 

The company, of course, had their own entrance to 
the theatre, guarded by Barry, the old door-keeper, 
whose pride was a most wonderful collection of signed 
photographs. I often wonder what has become of those 
photographs, for the collection of them was the old man's 
hobby, and there are few celebrities who had not at one 
time or another visited the Lyceum and met old Barry. 


Myself and Others 67 

No one was ever allowed " behind " except on busi- 
ness, and — this rule would perhaps startle the younger 
generation — no letters or telegrams were delivered to 
any member of the company during a performance. 

On the first floor, leading from the stage, there were 
three green rooms. One, comfortably furnished with 
couches and chairs, its walls hung with old prints, a 
large looking-glass at the end and a huge fire always 
burning, was for the principals. Another was given up 
to the " extra ladies and gentlemen," and a third was 
for " supers and crowd," and in each of these rooms the 
comfort of every member of the company was considered. 

On the same floor were the ladies' dressing-rooms. 

On the floor above were the gentlemen's dressing- 
rooms, Henry Irving's armoury and private suite, and 
the Beefsteak Room. 

The call-boy gave special calls to the leading members 
of the company assembled in the green room, and it was 
a strict rule of the theatre that no one was allowed on 
the stage until his or her call came. 

On the right side of the stage were private offices 
and above them Irving's reception room, with his small 
dressing-room leading out of it. Miss Terry's room was 
on the same floor, and above, again, was the wardrobe. 

It is needless to say that no visitors were ever allowed 
on the stage during a performance, and one of the very 
few exceptions to this rule was made in favour of Mr. 
Gladstone, who in his later years grew very deaf, and 
whom I have often seen sitting, with his hand to his 
ear, in a little corner specially fitted up for him on the 
O.P. side. 

There was nothing ornate or elaborate about Irving's 
small dressing-room, and many a fashionable modern 
" star " would consider himself or herself insulted if 

E 2 

68 Myself and Others 

asked to dress in it, and would at least insist on its being 
re-decorated and re-furnished on some futurist or jazz 
scheme of decoration. It was Irving's work-room, pure 
and simple, and I have good reason to remember it, so, 
lest I forget, let me set down a painful recollection of it. 

In one way or another, I am sure that my obvious 
nervousness of Irving afforded him heaps of kindly fun. 
I remember at the end of my first season that we were 
rehearsing " Louis XI " for the repertoire and the 
American tour, and to my dismay I found that I was 
expected to wear the very same dresses that Miss 
Bateman had worn some twenty years previously. I 
was terribly disappointed, for I was as fond of new 
frocks then as I am now, and at rehearsal I went up 
to Mr. Loveday, Irving's faithful friend and stage 
manager, and implored him to let me have some new 

" No," he said firmly, but not unkindly, " the revival 
is only for repertoire ; there is no need to go to any 
extra expense, and what was good enough for Miss 
Bateman should be good enough for you." 

I suppose I must have been a dreadful cry-baby in 
those days, for I immediately burst into floods of tears — 
half of disappointment and, I fear, half of anger — and 
ran off the stage to my dressing-room. 

In my flight I passed Irving — I did not see him, but 
he saw me, and soon after I had a message that he 
wished to see me in his room. By this time I had 
recovered my senses, and was very much frightened, 
feeling sure that I was in for a severe lecture for my 
childishness. So in fear and trembling I went to his 

" Sit down, sit down," he said kindly, and I did so 
in the nearest chair, and was immediately conscious 

Myself and Others 69 

that my seat was anything but a bed of roses, but I was 
far too flurried and nervous to dare to move. 

" You've been crying," he said. " Why ? " 

Feeling very much ashamed of myself and half 
inclined to cry again I succeeded in telling him, and 
blurted out that Mr. Loveday had said I couldn't have 
new dresses. 

Instead of laughing or telling me what a little idiot I 
was : " Of course you shall have new dresses," he said 
soothingly, and sent for Mrs. Reid, the wardrobe 

Mrs. Reid appeared, the situation was explained to 
her, and I was allowed to select whatever materials I 

But all this time I was literally on tenterhooks. 

Suddenly Irving turned to me. 

" And now, my child, are you quite comfortable," 
he asked. 

" Oh, yeSy Mr. Irving, thank you very much." 

" Quite sure you're comfortable ? " 

" Oh quite sure." 

" Then, that's all right," he smiled, " because you are 
sitting on my spurs." 

It was another involuntary outburst of tears that 
indirectly helped me to make a hit as an emotional 
actress. During the rehearsals of " The Lyons Mail " 
I used always to be greatly affected by the scene in 
which I, as the daughter, had to part with Irving, as my 
father. As I have said, I was never nervous when on 
the stage with Irving, and his superb acting of the part 
used to affect me intensely. The dress rehearsal had 
been a very long and fatiguing one, and when we came 
to this scene I was altogether overcome. 

70 Myself and Others 

I felt that nothing but tears could express my feelings, 
but at the same time I felt that it would be ridiculous 
to give way to tears at a mere rehearsal. 

However, what with fatigue, what with the effect of 
Irving's playing, and what with the intensity with 
which I felt the part of the daughter, I suddenly broke 
down and fell into violent hysterics. 

As soon as I could, I managed to pull myself together 
and fully expected to be reproved for making a little 
fool of myself, but when he saw that I had recovered 
Irving came up to me. 

" Very good, my dear, very good," he said. " Er — 
do it again to-morrow night." 

Of course I did not go into hysterics again the next 
night, but thanks to this encouragement I lost the fear 
of " letting myself go " and came in for some very 
favourable criticisms. 

At the Lyceum rehearsals always commenced at 
II a.m., and I never knew Irving to be late. 

Punctually to the minute his little terrier " Fussy " — 
who never missed a rehearsal but who had his likes and 
dislikes, and would deliberately leave the stage during the 
rehearsal of a play he disliked — arrived on the stage, 
followed by Irving and his stage manager, Henry Love- 
day, and then to work without a break until three o'clock. 
And the work was work indeed ; nothing was 
allowed to interfere with it. Many and many a dress 
rehearsal has lasted all night, and many and many a 
time in the early morning, as I drove home exhausted, 
I have been glad to stop and get a cup of hot coffee at 
the coffee stall outside Hyde Park gates. 

Quite early in my experience of the Lyceum, I 
received one sardonic reproof, which did me no end of 
good, and which I have never forgotten. 

By Bernard Partridge 


Myself and Others 71 

I had been invited to join a luncheon party after 
rehearsal, so I arrived at the theatre in my best new 
" bib and tucker" feeling very pleased with myself, 
and hoping to goodness that the rehearsal would go 
quickly and smoothly. 

Before long I noticed that Irving kept looking at me, 
and, as I thought, admiring my " turn-out." 

Presently he beckoned me over to him. 

" Very pretty frock — very pretty indeed," he said. 
" What is it for ? " 

" I'm going to join a luncheon party as soon as the 
rehearsal is over," I babbled proudly. 

" Go at once, my dear ; go at once," was his dis- 
concerting reply. " Don't let the rehearsal detain you. 
But — to-morrow — come in your working clothes to- 
morrow — with your mind full of work." 

It was a sharp little lesson, and I never forgot it. 

But there was small time for luncheon parties during 
my first season at the Lyceum. To begin with, there 
was the production of " Much Ado about Nothing," 
and when that was launched there were constant 
rehearsals of the repertoire in preparation for the 
American tour. In addition, Irving strongly advised 
me to take lessons in fencing, dancing and singing, so 
my time was fully occupied. Had such things as this 
dansantSy supper and dance clubs existed in those days, 
I, for one, should have been far too tired to indulge in 

As I look back upon the interesting but incessant 
work which was in those days held to be a vital part in 
the training for the stage I sometimes permit myself to 
wonder if the average young actress of to-day really 
knows what work is. 

Everybody was very kind to me at the Lyceum, and 

72 Myself and Others 

one day at rehearsal that fine old actor, Mr. James 
Fernandez, gave me a memorable piece of advice. 

" If you are asked," he said, " always say that you 
can play everything and anything ; that you can 
dance, sing, fence, jump — anything.'''* 

It seemed an excellent idea so : " I will ! " I assured 
him solemnlv. 

At that time the rehearsals of " Much Ado about 
Nothing " were in full swing, and at night the company 
was playing " Romeo and Juliet," in which I had no 

One morning Irving called for me. 

" Ever played Juliet ? " he asked. 

Now, I had been on the real stage exactly three 
months, but remembering Mr. Fernandez's advice : 
" Oh, yes ! " I replied blithely. 

" I'm very pleased to hear it," said Irving. " Miss 
Terry is not well, and you may have to play it to-morrow 

How I blessed Mr. Fernandez for his awful 
advice 1 

I went home. I sat up all night reading, learning, 
spouting, with cold cloths round my aching head, and 
drinking hot coffee to keep myself awake. All next 
day I waited, in an agony of suspense, to be called for 
— and nothing happened ! 

As the date grew near for the production of " Much 
Ado," the dress rehearsals lengthened and lengthened, 
and many times they lasted until seven or eight in the 

Irving seemed made of steel and whipcord : nothing 
tired him, and his patience was wonderful, but with 
some of the others nerves became on edge and tempers 
a little frayed. 

Myself and Others 73 

On one occasion Mr. Terriss saved an explosion, for 
even Irving had grown impatient at a constantly recur- 
ring hitch in one of the processions. The distance 
between each member of the procession had been spaced 
out again and again with the most meticulous care, but 
one of them — I am afraid it was a Miss Millward — never 
seemed able to keep her proper distance between the 
person in front and the person behind her when it came 
to the crucial moment. 

Once again Irving stopped the rehearsal, and this 
time it seemed as if the storm must break. But Terriss 
braved the tempest. 

" It's all right, guv'nor," he exclaimed. " Stop a 
bit, and let me explain it." 

Then, turning to me : " You see, it's like this," he 
explained, and shamelessly parodying Irving's walk he 
proceeded to pace out the exact distance. Irving 
roared — no one could become angry with Terriss — and 
once more the sun shone. 

With Irving Mr. Terriss was a chartered libertine : 
he could do things with the Lyceum chief that no one 
else dared attempt. But even he stood in awe of the 
great man at times, and he often told me that one of 
his most nervous experiences at the theatre occurred a 
few months before I joined the company. 

He was playing the thankless and overrated part of 
Laertes in a revival of " Hamlet " in the autumn of 
1882, and having a wait of two hours after the third 
scene of the play, in which Laertes receives the lengthy 
advice and the blessing of Polonius, he was in the habit 
of changing and going for a blow on the Embankment to 
enjoy the air and a cigar. 

One night, for some extraordinary reason, after the 
finish of Scene I he forgot altogether about Scene III 

74 Myself and Others 

and the garrulous Polonius, and calmly proceeded to 
dress and leave the theatre. He had just reached the 
stage door, with the cigar well alight, and was chatting 
with Barry, when anxious voices were heard, calling 
louder and louder and coming nearer and nearer. 

"Terriss! Terriss!" they cried. "Stage wait! Stage 
wait ! " 

For a moment he stood amazed, and then the whole 
awful truth flashed across his mind. 

His first impulse was to dash to his dressing-room, 
fling on his stage clothes, and rush upon the stage, but 
a second's thought was enough to show that it was an 

Meanwhile : " Terriss ? Terriss ? Stage wait ! " rang 
the voices. 

The next impulse was to drop through the floor to the 
cellar below, but the floor refused to open ; and the 
next was to rush out into the street — anywhere out of 
the theatre, and out of the world, if possible. So he 
fled out into the darkness. 

However, the time drew near when he had to return 
to the theatre to face the reproachful gaze of his chief 
and whatever punishment awaited him, but Irving only 
smiled when the reason for the catastrophe was explained 
to him, and remarked calmly : 

" Don't do it again, my boy ; don't do it again ! " 

It seemed that Miss Terry and Mr. Howe had pro- 
ceeded quietly with the scene as if Laertes had been 
non-existent, and no further inconvenience was caused 
than that " Hamlet " was " for this occasion only " 
played without the scene in which the venerable gentle- 
man gives his valuable advice to his son. 

When the last dress rehearsal of " Much Ado 
about Nothing" at last came to an end, Mr. Fernandez 

Myself and Others 75 

came up to a very dejected and nervous Jessie 

" You are a very charming and promising young 
actress," said the dear old gentleman, " and you have 
a future before you, but you've felt frightened to death 
at rehearsal, and you've been called back over and over 
again. But to-morrow night you can't be called back. 
Have every confidence, go ahead, and you'll make a 
great success." 

The next night I appeared as Hero and made my 
success, but so overwrought was I that I remember next 
to nothing of the performance. 

The following morning, according to the Lyceum 
custom, we were called for a criticism of our respective 
performances. As I recollected next to nothing of 
mine I felt it must have been unutterably bad. 

As I have already said, Irving knew that I was 
frightened of him, and on this occasion I think he 
deliberately kept me in suspense. 

One by one the other members of the company were 
called forward and criticized in the most gentle and 
kindly manner, and one by one they were dismissed. 
I alone was left. 

" Oh dear ! " I cried to myself, as I saw Irving 
approaching. " Now I am going to catch it ! I was so 
bad that he didn't like to tell me before the others." 
I positively trembled with fright. But all Irving said 
(I could see he was gently enjoying my obvious fear) 
was : " Nothing to correct, my dear. Very good ; 
very good indeed." 

And then I knew what it was to be in the seventh 
heaven of delight. 

It did not take me long to realize the tremendous 
privilege of being associated with the Lyceum of Henry 

76 Myself and Others 

living's day, and I did my best to take advantage ot 
my opportunities under such a master. 

After much sheer hard work I was conscious of 
gradual improvement in my art, but one was never 
allowed to become conceited, and one fine day my very 
small pride received a very great fall. 

During my first season with him, Irving gave a big 
benefit at the Lyceum, and invited me to take part 
in the programme, suggesting that I should recite 
Tennyson's *' May Queen," which Irving had, for 
reasons of time, slightly condensed for the occasion. I 
felt very flattered, of course ; recited the poem, and, to 
my delight, was complimented on the success of my 
first big recitation by Irving himself, who said : " I 
should like my friend Tennyson to hear you." 

Naturally, I felt highly pleased with myself, and on 
several occasions afterwards when asked to recite I gave 
the " May Queen," feeling that if my delivery of that 
poem was good enough for Irving it was good enough 
for anybody. 

Some time later, Mr. Terriss and myself, after giving 
a costume recital at Guildford, were invited to lunch 
with Tennyson, who had evidently been told by Irving 
of my success with his poem, for no sooner was lunch 
over than he asked me to recite it. 

Immediately after lunch is not an ideal moment for 
the recital of a Laureate's poem to that Laureate him- 
self, but though I was very nervous and uncomfortable 
I thought I had not done so badly, and when I had 
finished I felt that I had earned some little compliment, 
however perfunctory. 

One or two people, it is true, did murmur the in- 
evitable " Thank you, so much," but I could not help 
noticing that the " friends of the house " were looking 

Photo by London Stereoscopic Company 



Myself and Others 77 

rather anxiously at the poet, and seemed to be awaiting 
his verdict before committing themselves. 

At last Tennyson spoke, or rather growled : 

" Why have you left out some of my lines ? " 

And not a word more did he say. 

Later, when I told Irving of my experience, he smiled. 

" Poor dear Tennyson's sense of humour is not his 
strong point," he said, and proceeded to tell me a little 
experience of his own. A discussion had arisen between 
Bram Stoker, Joe Hatton and the Laureate over Shelley, 
and Hatton, turning to Tennyson, observed consolingly : 
*' But you are in the ascendant now, sir." 

" Ah," observed Tennyson complacently : " Shelley 
had no humour." 

If I have dwelt at some length on my first appearance 
at the Lyceum Theatre, a glance at the cast of that 
wonderful revival of " Much Ado " will furnish my 

I had been but three months on the stage, and yet 
not only had I the tremendous good fortune to be 
selected for an important Shakespearean role, in which, 
with equal good fortune, I contrived to make my first 
big success, but I had the privilege of forming one of a 
company which contained many names afterwards to 
become famous. 

Apart from Irving and Miss Terry, in the cast of 
" Much Ado about Nothing " were the present Sir 
Johnston Forbes Robertson, who played Claudio, and 
whose part, during his engagement elsewhere, was 
rehearsed by the present Sir Frank Benson ; Mr. 
Terriss, Mr. Fernandez, Mr. Howe and that fine old 
Shakespearean actor Mr. Mead, and playing in the 
Lyceum repertoire were the late Sir George Alexander, 
the present Sir Martin Harvey — who was then cast to 

78 Myself and Others 

" walk on " — and his wife, then NelHc de Silva, and 
Mr. Haviland, while Mr. Jack Robertson, the great 
concert singer — no relation, by the way, of Sir Johnston 
Forbes Robertson — was specially engaged to play the 
small part of Baltazar, and to sing " Sigh no more, 

Irving had a genius for surrounding himself with 
clever people, and neither in casting nor in staging his 
plays did he stop to consider expense when he had a 
certain effect in mind. 

The chapel scene alone in " Much Ado " was a revela- 
tion in stage setting, with its wonderful lighting, and 
its huge organ specially built on the stage. 

And in connection with that chapel scene two 
*' Meadisms " at once rise in my mind. 

Mead was a fine actor of the old school, with the 
appearance of Dante, and a wonderful reverberating 
voice which at times he failed to modulate, and, as he 
grew older, his memory played him tricks. 

As Hero, I was kneeling at the altar in the wedding 
scene, and old Mead, as the priest, instead of Shake- 
speare's lines started with the words of the Prayer 
Book Marriage Service. 

" Dearly beloved " boomed that tremendous 

voice over my bowed head, and I am afraid Hero 
giggled. Mead caught the sound of my giggle. 

" Dearly beloved," he repeated sternly, in those deep 
organ tones, and then, in what was meant to be an 
indignant aside, but in reality was exactly the same 
intonation — " and — these — damned — amateurs ! " 

The only time I ever saw Irving laugh on the stage 
was on another occasion in that same wedding scene, 
and Mead was the cause. 

Myself and Others 79 

Hero had fainted and was lying on the steps of the 
altar, with Beatrice on one side of her and Benedick, 
his back to the audience, on the other. Mead, as the 
priest, was descending the steps to Hero's side, when he 
tripped, took the whole short flight in a sort of panto- 
mime fall, and landed full length beside Hero. 

Irving, convulsed with laughter himself, still retained 
enough presence of mind to gasp : " Don't laugh, my 
dear ! For God's sake, don't laugh ! " to the naturally 
frivolous Hero. 

Another magnificent veteran in the cast of this 
great revival was the late Henry Howe, who had 
graduated in the Macready school, and was a living 
link between the new and old tradition. 

He was full of stories of that extraordinary man and 
great tragedian, of whom so many extraordinary stories 
have been told, and one of the best I remember was of an 
experience with him in "Macbeth." Mr. Howe. was the 
Macduff, and it was Macready's uncomfortable habit 
as Macbeth to fight so vigorously with Macduff that he 
was eternally damaging the unfortunate actors who 
played the part. In fact, at one time it was not easy 
to find anyone to play it, and it was said that every 
Macduff who had acted with Macready carried a 
Macready trade mark in the shape of a cut or a bruise. 

After disabling several, he engaged Mr. Howe to 
support him at Covent Garden, and at rehearsal it was 
arranged that in order to give Macready breathing 
space during the great fight, while he was pufiing and 
blowing, the cue for Howe to " come on " was the 
treading upon a brass nail that shone upon the boards. 

But at night, Macready, in the grunting, blustering 
and cursing in which he indulged to " work himself up," 
forgot all about the arrangement, and as Macduff, with 

80 Myself and Others 

his eyes firmly fixed on the brass nail, waited for his 
cue the great man became more exasperated than ever. 

" Come on, you brute ! Why the devil don't you 
come on, you beast ! " he snarled sotto voce. 

" Why the devil don't you tread on the nail ? " 
retorted Howe indignantly, and then the fight was 
resumed with immense spirit on both sides. 

My first year on the stage was a wonderful experience 
for a young actress, for after playing Hero until the end 
of the run, as the Lyceum season finished with a short 
revival of repertoire in preparation for the American 
visit, I played in " The Merchant of Venice," " The 
Lyons Mail," " Louis XI," and " The Bells," in London, 
and in a short tour, which included Edinburgh — where 
Irving opened the Lyceum Theatre, built by Messrs. 
Howard and Wyndham — Glasgow, and Liverpool, the 
scene of my little contretemps under the Kendal regime, 
whence we sailed for the United States on the " City of 
Rome " in October, 1883. 


First visit to America. — A family party. — Terriss as an ancient 
mariner. — Collapse of the ancient mariner. — His seafaring career. — Sir 
Martin and Lady Harve3^ — William Haviland.— Charles Hunt Helmsley. — 
New York. — " It is I ! " — The Jew and the Polish Jew. — A tone-deaf 
singer. — Irving's anger. — A Trilby in real life. — Terriss buys the rights of 
" Trilby." — Gives them to me. — A Haymarket " scene." — " The Man's 
Shadow." — The infant prodigy and the Trees.— The juvenile leading lady 
and Terriss. — A lesson from a critic. — Irving gets his " effect." — Perverted 
Shakespeare. — The nigger and the " troupe." — Norman Forbes. — A 
burglary. — Chicago. — The Kendals. — Augustin Daly. — Ada Rehan. — 
Daly's Theatre. — George Edwardes. — Stephen Fiske. — William Winter. — 
An accident at Niagara. — A triumphal home-coming. — Terriss as a 

IN 1883 an American tour was something in the 
nature of a great adventure — it was, I know, for one 
youthful member of the Lyceum Company — and it 
was a very happy and excited family party that em- 
barked on the " City of Rome." 

And it was a " family party " in something more than 
the conventional sense, for in the ninety or more members 
which composed the expedition were fathers, mothers, 
sisters and brothers, and even a pair of twins, the 
property of Mr. Houseman, the musical director and 
his wife. 

No sooner had we stepped on board, and before the 
liner cast off from the stage, than Mr. Terriss assumed 
command of the expedition. (Irving and Miss Terry 
had sailed in the " Britannic") 

81 F 

82 Myself and Others 

To begin with, Mr. Terriss had been a real sailor : 
with the rest of us, our knowledge of the sea had been 
confined to occasional passages across the Channel, and 
deep-sea voyaging in a big ship was a high and holy- 

So when he whispered in my ear : " Understand, it 
is a rule of the sea that women and children go first, and 
you shall be the first ; I've a pistol in my pocket ! " 
I was impressed. 

" Good heavens, are we going to be wrecked ? " I 

" One never knows ! " he replied darkly. 

I thought that, being a sailor, he knew, and that the 
risks we were taking were rather awful. 

Ten minutes or so later, when I saw him climb a mast 
and reach the dizzy height of the crow's nest I felt still 
more convinced that he must know, and my confidence 
was not in the least shattered when the captain, catching 
sight of him, sternly ordered him down. 

I of course put the captain's indignation down to 
professional jealousy. 

But when we at last sailed, and on reaching the open 
sea Mr. Terriss was invisible for two days, and it was 
whispered that he had been deathly ill, I reluctantly 
concluded that perhaps after all the captain knew his 
business best. 

Later Mr. Terriss confessed to me the whole extent 
of his seafaring experiences as a professional seaman. 

His mother had had him trained for the merchant 
service, and when at last he received his cadetship he 
was so proud of his new uniform that for days he paraded 
Westbourne Grove in the neighbourhood of his Bays- 
water home, to his own immense admiration and that 
of others. 

Myself and Others 83 

At last the day came for him to join his ship. 

He bade long and fervent farewells to his family 
and his friends, and embarked on his new career. The 
first night at sea was a stormy one, and when at dawn 
the ship hove to off Plymouth and a bumboat came 
alongside with an old woman selling vegetables, the new 
sailor slipped over the side, bribed the proprietress of 
the bumboat and rowed ashore, arriving the same 
evening at his mother's house in Bayswater, to the 
amazement of his sorrowing family. 

And so ended Mr. Terriss's career as a professional 

However, rough as the passage was, we all recovered 
in time to assist in the concert in aid of the Seamen's 
Orphanage, and at the supper which followed Mr. 
Terriss again distinguished himself as an experienced 
traveller by moving an amendment to one of the toasts. 

" The President of the United States ! " announced 
the proposer. 

" And his wife ! " cried Terriss warmlv. 

Unfortunately the President at that time was a 

I have said that the company on that first American 
tour was a family party, and in that family party were 
more novices than Jessie Millward. Amongst them 
were a young couple, Martin Harvey and his sweet- 
heart Nellie de Silva, now Sir Martin and Lady Harvey, 
who, playing tiny walking-on parts, seemed to spend 
all the time on our long journeys in reading and studying 
together. Two more earnest students of their art were 
never seen, and I wonder if even then thev dreamed of 
what the future held for them. 

Playing small parts was that fine actor William 
Haviland, and other youthful " tourists " were Charles 

F 2 

84 Myself and Others 

Hunt Helmsley — who afterwards gave up acting, and 
was for many years the kind, genial and courteous 
manager for Sir George Alexander, and is, at the moment 
I write, with Mr. Arthur Bourchier — and my brother 
Herbert, freed from his apprenticeship with the White 
Star Line, who came to chaperon me, and subsequently 
became assistant stage manager to David Belasco. 

We landed at New York in the midst of the Indian 
summer — another novelty for most of us — and the heat, 
the bustle, the skyscrapers, the " elevated," the cable 
cars, and last, but very far from least, the appalling 
ordeals at the customs, were all sufficiently bewildering 
and exciting to the young actress whose furthest journey 
had hitherto been as far as to Boulogne. 

Irving's first appearance in America was at the Star 
Theatre, New York, on the evening of Monday, 28th 
October, 1883, in "The Bells," and his first words on 
the American stage were those of Mathias : 

" It is I ! " 

Irving's Mathias in " The Bells " was a revelation in 
tragic acting to the American public, and few who saw 
it remained as unimpressed as the Jew of whom Lai 
Brough used to tell. 

A brother Hebrew was extolling Irving's magnificent 
performance, and exhausting superlatives of admiration 
while his friend remained cold. 

" Wonderful ! Wonderful ! The most wonderful 
thing in the world ! " he kept repeating, until the friend 
got tired of his enthusiasm. 

" Wonderful ? " he repeated irritably. " 7hat ain't 
wonderful ! Could Irving buy steel pens at tenpence a 
gross an' sell 'em at a bob a dozen ? That's vat I calls 
wonderful ! " 

Myself and Others 86 

From the reception that first night in New York there 
were few Jews in the steel pen industry amongst the 

" The Bells " was the only piece played on that 
memorable occasion, and I had no part in it, though on 
several occasions afterwards during the tour I played 
the part of Annette. Now, Annette had to sing a little 
Tyrolean air at the finish of the second act, and though 
everyone told me that I had a capital singing voice I 
myself knew only too well that I was absolutely in- 
capable of singing in tune. As a child my inability to 
sing " Kathleen Mavourneen " in tune had been a 
family joke, but Irving insisted that it was a mere 
matter of training and made me take singing lessons 
from the first violinist, Andrew Levey. 

Levey did his best, but after several trials was obliged 
to admit that I was right. So long as he played the 
note I was in tune, the moment he stopped I lost the 
key. He said it was unusual, but at the same time it 
was a horrid fact, and on his reporting to Irving it was 
arranged that the snatch of song should be sung " off.'* 

During the American tour this was done whenever I 
played Annette, until one day the girl who sang broke 
down with a bad cold, and as there was no one else 
available I said that I would sing myself. All afternoon 
I practised that wretched song with kind old Mrs. 
Pauncefort, who played Catherine. For hours we 
rehearsed it together : she sang it to me, I sang it to her, 
and at last, in an agony of nervousness, I sang it in the 

Owing to sheer nervous tension I managed to get 
through it — all except the last note, which I knew I 
could not achieve, and which I didn't attempt — and the 
moment the curtain fell to a sound of applause, Irving 

86 Myself and Others 

jumped to his feet and said that the song had never been 
so well sung before. 

He was really angry ; it had all been pure affectation 
on my part, he declared ; he would have no more of 
such silly nonsense, and he wound up by calling a 
rehearsal of the scene for the next morning. 

The next morning came ; I sang my poor little best — 
but I was never asked to sing again ! 

I had been so terrified that on that occasion only I 
had been a sort of Trilby, hypnotized into singing in 

And the singing of that song " for one night only " 
had a curious sequel. When Mr. Du Maurier's novel 
*' Trilby " was published and instantly became famous, 
Mr. Terriss bought the dramatic rights for Great Britain 
and gave them to me, as a tone-deaf Trilby in real life. 

In his brilliant essay on his brother, Mr. Max Beerbohm 
tells how he went to see Paul Potter's version in Phila- 
delphia as an emissary of Sir Herbert to report on it, 
and how his report was an adverse one. Later, in New 
York, two nights before he sailed for England, Sir 
Herbert thought that, as he had an evening to spare, 
he might as well go and see " Trilby " himself, and, as 
Max slily observes, " it was on the proceeds of ' Trilby ' 
in England that His Majesty's presently began to arise." 

Many people were then after the dramatic rights of 
Du Maurier's book. Mr. Willard had cabled over for 
them, but Sir Herbert, as soon as he reached England 
and heard that the rights were mine, came straight on 
to the theatre, and in my dressing-room begged me to 
let him have them. He had them, and his magnificent 
performance of Svengali is now stage history. 

Soon after its production at the Haymarket, Mr. 
Terriss and I went to a matinee of " Trilby " — or rather 

Myself and Others 87 

I went, and was joined after the curtain had risen by 
Terriss, who, Hke most men, was occasionally late. The 
house was crowded and I was annoyed at his lateness, 
and was more annoyed at the extreme deliberation with 
which he proceeded to place his hat under the seat, 
and, still standing, slowly begin to take off his coat. 
The play was continuing, and, to make matters worse, 
there began to be whispers of " There's Terriss ! There's 
Terriss ! " from enthusiastic admirers who had recog- 
nized him. 

" You're very late," I snapped. " For goodness' sake 
sit down ! " 

The whispers grew, heads were turned in our direction, 
but, pretending not to hear or care, with maddening 
slowness he continued to fold his coat, and placed it 
carefully under his seat ; then, after taking a pro- 
longed view of the house, he at last prepared to sit 

But the " tip-up " seat, to my intense and rather 
malicious joy, had been slowly " tipping " during that 
view of the house, and when he at last condescended to 
sit down he sat gently on the floor. 

It is curious that I should have been connected with 
two of the plays which became famous under the Tree 
regime at the Haymarket — " Trilby " and " A Man's 
Shadow," the latter of which, under its French title of 
" Roger la Honte," Mr. Terriss and I played many 
times in the States. When " Roger la Honte " was 
produced in Paris there was a rush of managers over to 
buy it. Mr. Charles Cartwright and Mr. Terriss were 
first and bought the English rights, which they sold to 
Sir Herbert — who was a few hours late — reserving the 
American rights of the play, which was played in 
America under Augustin Daly. So popular was it in 

88 Myself and Others 

the States that a pirate version, " The Spider's Web," 
sprang into existence. 

By the way, a propos " The Man's Shadow," Sir 
Herbert Tree was fond of telling a story of a little 
incident which occurred at one of the early rehearsals 
of the play. 

The small girl who played the part of Suzanne was 
watching the progress of the rehearsal one morning, and 
being, like most small children, intensely observant and 
critical, turned suddenly to her mother and demanded : 

" Who is that young lady who seems so familiar with 
Mr. Tree ? " 

" Hush, dear," was the reply. " That is Mrs. Tree." 

" Well," observed the child, with the air of one who 
is the repository of all the worldly wisdom of all the 
ages. " I wonder, if she is so disrespectful to her 
manager now, how on earth she ever expects to get on 
in her profession ! " 

Playing the same part in America on my tour with 
Mr. Terriss with the play under its original title of 
" Roger la Honte " was another very self-possessed 
small child. 

She was quite a brilliant little actress — and she knew 
it. But, a trifle spoilt as she was, she had occasional fits 
of modesty. For instance, one day when Mr. Terriss 
chafhngly told her : " You're the star of this play, my 
dear," she replied, almost with diffidence : " Oh, no, 
Mr. Terriss ! Tou are the star ; I'm only the leading 
lady ! " 

But to return to that wonderful first American tour of 
Henry Irving. 

The Irving methods, the Irving acting, and the Irving 
productions were a revelation to the American play- 
going public of that day. There were, of course, great 

Myself and Others 89 

actors and actresses in the States, but nothing like the 
elaborate finish of the ensemble had ever been seen. 

But if the critics were enthusiastic they were exacting, 
and I had one little lesson from a very great critic which 
I hope did me good. 

I was, of course, very young, and I suppose rather 
frivolous, which may be some excuse for a bad habit I 
had of giggling on the stage at anything that amused 
me when I thought no one was looking. I realized it 
was a bad habit and tried to check it, but one or two 
other members of the company were wicked enough to 
encourage me in it. I used to beg of them : " Please 
don't make me laugh ! " but without much success, as 
I'm afraid the appeal was too often only a half-hearted 

But one evening I was fairly frightened into serious- 

Miss Payne, who was playing Ursula in " Much Ado 
about Nothing," suddenly convulsed me in the middle 
of the garden scene by holding up her thumbs, on the 
nails of which she had painted two comic little faces. 
I all but collapsed, but managed to get through the 
scene, and at the fall of the curtain flattered myself that 
no one had noticed my wickedness. 

As I was leaving the theatre that night a note was 
placed in my hands. It was from a very great critic 
indeed, and it ran : 

" Dear Miss Millward, — I have admired all your 
performances greatly, and think you one of the most 
charming and promising young actresses I have seen 
for a long time, but — the next time I see you laugh on 
the stage I shall stand up in the stalls and denounce 

90 Myself and Others 

Another lesson, of a rather different nature, I received 
from Irving himself, (That first American tour was 
full of lessons for me !) 

I was playing the part of Lady Anne in " Richard III," 
in the place of Miss Terry, and in the wooing scene, 
when Gloucester places the ring on Lady Anne's finger, 
do what I could I always anticipated, and thus entirely 
spoiled the effect Irving intended. Again and again he 
explained it, but somehow or other I invariably " missed 
fire," but one night he got his effect. 

And he got it in the simplest way — by a sudden pinch 
at the crucial moment ! My start of surprise and 
horror was realism itself, and at the end of the act he 
sent his valet Walter round to my dressing-room to 
congratulate me. 

" Mr, Irving hopes he didn't hurt you, miss," said 
Walter, " but he says you were splendid, and it was just 
the effect he wanted." 

Another " Richard III " memory is of a ghastly 
mistake made by the actor who played the small part 
of the officer in command of the guard placed over the 
coffin of the dead king. 

When Gloucester intercepts him, his lines according 
to Shakespeare — who certainly should know best what 
he intended his characters to speak — are : 

" Stand back, my lord, and let the coffin pass." 

But on this occasion, from nervousness or " fluffi- 
ness," the player gave an entirely new reading, and 
scored a somewhat equivocal success with : 

" Stard back, my lord, and let the parson cough." 

Which is almost, if not quite, as bad as the story poor 
Wilson Barrett used to tell of the Portia who saluted 
the Antonio with the blithe announcement : 

" Joy, joy, Antonio ! Your ships are all sunk ! " 

Myself and Others 91 

Which in turn reminds me of a dehberate perversion 
of the original text of that same play, " The Merchant 
of Venice," by Mr. Terriss. Needless to say, it occurred 
when Irving was not on the stage. 

In the eyes of the American public the Lyceum 
Company could do no wrong, and, partly because they 
looked upon us as perfection, and partly, perhaps, 
because of their ignorance of the popular English seaside 
resorts, they accepted without a murmur an entirely 
novel reading by Terriss. 

Bassanio's lines in the casket scene, on learning that 
the ships are lost, are : 

" What, not one hit, 
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England ? " 

Never shall I forget Miss Terry's expression, as the 
" revised " version caught her ears : 

" What, not one hit, 
From Margate, Ramsgate, Deal and Dover ? " 

As I say, it was fortunate for everyone concerned that 
Irving was not within hearing, but the audience took it 
all as gospel. 

After the big success in New York the tour became a 
sort of triumphal progress ; at every stop crowds were 
waiting on the station to see the Lyceum Company, and 
Irving and Miss Terry were constantly obliged to appear 
on the platforms to receive the welcome of " prominent 

And it was not only the " prominent citizens " who 
were anxious to see the visitors. 

On one long journey I had a " section " to myself — 
which meant that when the upper berth was closed I 
had quite a comfortable little compartment — and I was 
dawdling over my morning toilet after an all-night run 

92 Myself and Others 

when the train stopped for a moment at some wayside 
station. There was nothing unusal in that, but what 
was unusual was that my window was suddenly opened, 
and a round-eyed, white-toothed nigger's head appeared, 
and a nigger's voice demanded : 

" Say, are yew the troupe ? " 

It was also a trifle disconcerting — until one got used 
to it — to find crowds of reporters trooping through the 
" sections " at all hours on their way to Irving's car, 
and the first time it occurred at night poor Miss Payne, 
who had retired to rest and did not realize that the 
invaders were representatives of the all-powerful press, 
put out a tousled head from between her curtains and 
remarked icily that, whatever might be the custom in 
America, she didn't think it moral for men to go tramp- 
ing through ladies' bedrooms at all hours of the night. 

But most of the members of the company speedily 
adapted themselves to American customs, even if we 
did not all go to the length of Mr. Norman Forbes, who, 
on our arrival at Chicago, asked a group of pressmen, 
in what he fondly imagined to be an American accent : 

" Say, you guys, is this Shycawgo ? " 

The effort was well meant, and it was unkind of a 
newspaper gentleman to report in print that " there is 
a member of the Irving Company who not only cannot 
talk English, but cannot pronounce the name of our 

The hot trains and the long journeys of that first tour 
were very trying to the novices — on the subsequent tours 
the journeys were differently arranged — but we con- 
trived to enjoy ourselves, for the novelty of our experi- 
ences never seemed to pall. And whatever comforts, 
not to say luxuries, could be provided were there for 
us, for Irving always " did things " in a princely way. 

Myself and Others 93 

for others as well as for himself. He was generosity 
incarnate, even to those who presumed on his generosity, 
as I am afraid I did on one of those long journeys. 

My " section " was next to the kitchen, and one night 
— we had been travelling from midnight the night 
before — I happened to open the door between and saw 
a nice little dinner being prepared, and on the table a 
dish of quails. I returned and reported what I had 
seen to another frivolous member of the company, who 
promptly made me a bet that I would not bring some- 
thing nice out of that kitchen. My gambling instinct 
properly roused — to say nothing of my appetite — I 
darted back to the empty kitchen, popped one of the 
plump little quails on a plate and was in the act of 
leaving with the spoil when I heard a well-known voice 
say kindly : 

" Take two, my dear — take two." 

I dropped the quail as if it had been red-hot and 
bolted, feeling like a naughty schoolgirl. In a few 
minutes, as I was in the midst of telling the horrible 
story to my accomplice, a porter arrived bearing two 
quails on a dish, " with Mr. Irving's compliments to the 

But Irving never interfered with the innocent amuse- 
ment of the members of his company — if burglary can 
be called innocent ! And he declined to interfere when 
two male members, after a serious quarrel, came to 
blows in the green-room during a matinee^ saying that 
it was a domestic affair which did not concern him. 

But that same evening he so contrived matters that 
the two antagonists had to appear on the stage together 
arm-in-arm as bosom friends, and the sheer ridiculous- 
ness of the situation put an end to any lingering ill- 
feeling. That little episode and our first visit to Chicago 

94 Myself and Others 

are my only two unpleasant memories of the tour, and 
it was not Chicago's fault that I was not happy there. 

It is true that the city was very dingy and drab, 
badly lighted, and built on charred wood, not having 
wholly recovered from the terrible effects of the great 
fire, but my most vivid memory of it is connected with 
a bad attack of malaria. As I went on the stage as 
the girl Julie in Louis XI I heard Miss Terry, who was 
not playing, say : " The girl looks very ill." 

" Don't tell her so," said Irving. " She will have a 
rest the next few days, but she must get through 

It was an understood thing at the Lyceum that busi- 
ness was always first, and I struggled through our first 
night at Chicago somehow or other. The next morning 
Irving sent his doctor round to me. 

Considering the difference in climate, the terribly long 
and trying journeys, the very hot theatres and hotels, 
it was wonderful that there was little or no illness in the 
company. In fact, we were monotonously healthy, and 
throve on the hard work and the tremendous enthu- 
siasm with which we were everywhere received. 

Financially, of course, the tour created a record, and 
the next English tourists to come anywhere within 
sight of it were the Kendals, on their first visit under 
Daniel Frohman in 1889, but Irving's figures were con- 
siderably the larger. Curiously enough, as Irving's 
first words to the American public had been " It is I ! " 
Mrs. Kendal's were : " Well, here I am, good people ! " 

On my later visits to the States I used to hear much of 
the impression the matron of the drama had made on 
the somewhat frivolous Americans, and a favourite 
story that used to be told of her was in connection with 
a brooch which, it was said, had been presented 

Myself and Others 96 

to her by Royalty as a souvenir of a command 

It was a very modest little piece of jewellery, with a 
monogram and a crest, and at a big luncheon party a 
very beautiful little American actress commented on it. 

" Yes," said Mrs. Kendal — or so the story ran — 
"■ That was given to me by a great lady for being the 
most virtuous and most domesticated woman on the 
British stage." 

" Do tell 1 " cried the beautiful little American lady, 
fingering a huge rope of pearls. " An' these pearls were 
given to me for being the most beautiful and the — er — 
the most popular woman on the American stage." 

That, at any rate, is how the story was told, but I 
don't vouch for it. Si non e vero^ etc. 

It was during that Irving tour that Mr. Terriss first 
saw the wonderful Augustin Daly Company, and 
arranged to bring them over to London to open at 
Toole's Theatre in 1884 with a repertoire of farces. So 
successful was the visit that the company later returned 
to London to the Gaiety with Ada Rehan and John 
Drew in " The Taming of the Shrew "; still later, Daly's 
Theatre was built, and opened with the same play. 

It was a hobby with Terriss to buy plays and to 
dabble in theatrical speculation, and he was generally 
successful, for he was a very sound business judge of 
the value of a play, and, unlike more than one well- 
known actor, never made the mistake of regarding any 
and every play as a possible background to his own 
personality and methods. 

Augustin Daly was a curious individual : possessing 
undoubted theatrical capacity, he was also an expert 
in the gentle art of making enemies, and was too much 
oppressed with a sense of the importance of being 

96 Myself and Others 

Augustin Daly to become really popular. In his 
theatres members of his companies were warned against 
approaching him without due ceremony and due notice, 
although he did not always observe the same etiquette in 
approaching others, and on one memorable occasion was 
ordered out of Drury Lane by Augustus Harris, who 
certainly had good reason for his action. But, whatever 
his faults, he had the wit to realize the genius of that 
truly great actress Ada Rehan, and he deserves to be 
remembered if only for her successes under his manage- 
ment, though I often wonder what the modern Shake- 
spearean purists would say to Daly's system of "cutting" 
Shakespeare to suit his own ideas. With few excep- 
tions, the critics of his day endured the Daly version of 
Shakespeare without protest, and one of those excep- 
tions was Mr. William Archer, who suggested that 
" Daly " should be spelt " Dele." The manager's 
methods were too often a curious mixture of false 
modesty and sheer pruriency, and will a modern genera- 
tion believe that in his version of " The Midsummer 
Night's Dream " at Daly's the most magnificent lines 
in the whole play were docked from Oberon's 
speech : 

" Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night 
From Perigenia, whom he ravished ? 
And make him with fair Aegle break his faith 
With Ariadne and Antiopa ? " 

While Daly was a chartered libertine where Shake- 
speare was concerned, it is strange to think that Irving, 
whose reverence for the poet approached idolatry, was 
always fiercely attacked by his English critics for the 
slightest rearrangements of the plays, rearrangements 
which were often essential for reasons of time alone. 

The story of Daly's Theatre is not uninteresting. 

Myself and Others 97 

After bringing Ada Rehan to London Daly discovered 
that he wanted a permanent theatre there, in which he 
could run a regular season when his New York Theatre 
was closed. 

On hearing this, George Edwardes said to him : " I'll 
build you a theatre, and let you have a long lease of it 
at five thousand pounds a year." 

In those happy pre-war days the theatre only cost 
some forty thousand pounds to build, but Daly could 
not make it pay, and then Edwardes came forward and 
offered to find the entertainment on percentage terms. 
The result was very profitable for Daly, and afterwards 
for his executors, the percentage which they drew being 
far in excess of the rent they had to pay. After litiga- 
tion the arrangement came to an end, and the theatre 
passed entirely into George Edwardes' possession. At 
one time it was said that he had settled the theatre on 
his son D'Arcy, who was a captain in the ist Dragoons, 
and shortly before his death he told a friend of mine 
that there were two things in the world that had given 
him supreme satisfaction. 

" The first," he said, " is that my boy D'Arcy has 
never caused me a moment's anxiety, and the second 
is that I have never had to put my hand in my pocket 
for one single penny for the Ballykisteen stud farm. 
On the other hand, Ogbourne has cost me a lot of money, 
but I've always had full value out of my racing." 

Curiously enough, the American critics were much 
more laudatory of Irving at this time than certain of 
his countrymen, and in particular my father's old friend 
Stephen Fiske, who was then writing for " The Spirit 
of the Times," and William Winter wrote wonderful 
and understanding appreciations of the great actor's 
aims and art. William Winter, a man of strong likes 


98 Myself and Others 

and dislikes, and by no means easy to please, became 
not only a friend but a whole-hearted devotee of Irving 
and the Lyceum methods, and expressed his apprecia- 
tion both in prose criticism and in graceful verse.'; ip_ 

These men were quick to see and appreciate Henry 
Irving's whole-souled and semi-fanatical devotion to 
his art at a time when it was still the fashion among 
certain of his fellow-countrymen to sneer at and belittle 
him as " the fashionable tragedian." 

New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Brooklyn, 
Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, 
Detroit, Toronto, Washington — city vied with city in 
the warmth of its welcome, and perhaps it was as well 
that the incessant hard work and the desire to deserve 
these welcomes gave us no time to acquire that un- 
comfortable complaint born of too much leisure — 
swollen head. 

Only one holiday did we take, " a day off " to visit 
Niagara Falls — a holiday which was nearly marked by a 
tragedy, for as Mrs. Pauncefort, Miss Payne, Mr. Terriss 
and myself were walking under the Falls, Terriss slipped, 
fell, and nearly lost his life. He only just managed to 
save himself, and was by far the least concerned of the 
party ; in fact, his only comment was : " Bill's luck ! 
Bill's luck ! " and a shrug of the shoulders. 

The closing night of the tour in New York was a 
memorable one, both for hard work and late hours, for 
we were to sail early next morning, and the programme 
consisted of acts from four plays, " The Merchant of 
Venice," " Louis XI," " Charles I," and " Much Ado 
about Nothing." What with the ensuing speeches, 
the supper parties, the farewells, it was a miracle that 
Bram Stoker was able to shepherd his little army on 
board in time for sailing, and long after the ladies of the 

Myself and Others 99 

company were asleep in their state-rooms, male members 
of the " troupe," as the darky had called it, kept turning 
up from farewell functions at clubs and hotels. 

However, at last " The City of Chester " sailed with 
all on board, no doubt to the immense relief of the 
faithful Bram Stoker, who was in charge of the voyagers, 
Irving and Miss Terry sailing later in the " Aurania." 

It was a happy and triumphant home-coming, and the 
voyage was appropriately happy and uenventful, save 
for an experiment in hypnotics by Mr. Terriss, 

Hypnotism was at that time a fashionable craze, and 
one day in the smoke-room Terriss declared that he 
possessed great and mysterious hypnotic powers, the 
extent of which even he himself did not understand, 
which was probably true. 

Several of us were in the secret, including Bram 
Stoker, and a little scene was arranged. 

One morning when I was sitting on deck Terriss kept 
passing to and fro in front of me, glaring fiercely each 
time he passed, and naturally soon attracted the atten- 
tion of a good many passengers. Poor old Mrs. Paunce- 
fort, who was sitting beside me knitting, became quite 
alarmed, thinking perhaps he had temporarily gone off 
his head, and every time he approached with a ferocious 
stare she would whisper timidly : " Oh, here he comes 
again ! Don't look at him, my dear ! Don't look at 
him ! " 

Presently I fell forward as arranged, and people 
rushed to my assistance, but it was not until Terriss 
had made some mysterious passes over my face that I 
was supposed to come out of the trance. 

The " believers " amongst the audience were tremen- 
dously impressed, and to his secret horror Mr. Terriss 

G 2 

100 Myself and Others 

was approached by a deputation who formally invited 
him to give a lecture on hypnotism in the salon. 

This was rather more than he had bargained for, but 
it was too late for him to back out, and with the assis- 
tance of Bram Stoker a lecture was hurriedly concocted, 
and delivered with immense success, the " demonstra- 
tions " being particularly impressive. Needless to say, 
the "subjects" were carefully chosen and had also been 
carefully rehearsed, thus carrying out to the last the 
" Lyceum thoroughness " which had so impressed 


Return to England. — Offer from Frohman. — A novice's " cheek." — 
Irving's kindly wisdom. — David Belasco.— An indigestion-proof genius. 
— Robert Mantell and the wasted years. — C. P. Flockton. — " The Fire 
Bug." — New Orleans and a rich uncle. — " Hazel Kirke."— My brother's 
" hit." — Pettitt and the plaj^-pirates. — His sense of humour. — A cable 
from Terriss.— The Adelphi. — Robert Pateman. — " The Harbour Lights.'* 
—Miss Mary Rorke and a dream. — Robert Courtneidge's " speech." — Sir 
Morell Mackenzie and a rival practitioner. — Abingdon's " love-letter." — 
King Edward VH. — The Prince and Terriss 's shirt. — A successful filly. — 
An actor's faux pas, — The musical comedy Peeress and the Prince. — 
Lord Londesborough.— Mr. Justice Hawkins. — Terriss as licensee. — Mr- 
Bernard Shaw reads " The Devil's Disciple." — An awful moment. — 
Another awful moment. — A parting shot. — Vindication of Mr. Shaw. — 
" Peter Pan." 

ON the return of the Lyceum Company to England, 
" Twelfth Night," with Irving, Miss Terry, Miss 
Rose Leclerq and Terriss in the cast, was put 
into rehearsal, and as there was no part for me in the 
new production I jumped at a proposal from Daniel 
Frohman to return to America and play the part of 
Pauline in " Called Back," the play in which Tree, as 
Macari, was then drawing all London to the Prince of 
Wales Theatre. 

What ambitious young actress could refuse an offer 
to " star " in a proved success ! 

Although there was no part for me in " Twelfth 
Night " I was still engaged to Irving, so with the blissful 
impudence of youth I sailed down to the Lyceum one 
evening — during the performance 1 — and trembling with 


102 Myself and Others 

excitement asked him if he could manage to do without 
me for a little while. 

He reminded me that, although I was not actually 
playing at that moment, I was still a member of his 
company, and then sat silent for a time, looking at 

" Yes," he said at last, quietly, thoughtfully, " you 
can go ; perhaps it will be better for you to go — for a 
while. But I want you always to look upon the Lyceum 
as your home — a home you can always return to." 

He knew and understood, far better and far more 
than I myself at that time. 

So on the following Saturday I sailed back to America 
with Mr. Frohman's partner. Dr. Mallory, a clergyman, 
and his wife. 

Once again I had the inconceivable good fortune 
from the point of view of the ambitious beginner to find 
myself in a company of fine artists whose example and 
whose precepts were invaluable. The stage manager 
was David Belasco, even then a brilliant young man, 
who looked exactly like a clergyman and was under- 
stood rather to encourage the resemblance. Shy, 
eccentric, highly strung, and intensely temperamental, 
full of idiosyncrasies — he was, for example, never known 
to appear in evening dress — Belasco was even then one 
of the greatest of stage managers, and it was said of him 
that he could train anyone to become great. 

After a hard evening's work he would make a huge 
supper of cream tarts and chocolates, and that he 
escaped indigestion is alone proof that he was above 
the ordinary run of mortals. 

Later, amongst his first London productions was 
" The Heart of Maryland," in which Mrs. Leslie Carter 
appeared at the Adelphi in 1897, and which Mr. Terriss 


Myself and Others 103 

had refused to produce, because, as the heroine, it would 
have been my uncomfortable " business" to swing from 
one side of the stage to the other on a huge bell. 

In the American cast of " Called Back " was that 
fine actor Robert Mantell. An Irishman by birth, he had 
played in America for many years, and endured a long 
and hard struggle before achieving fame and making 
his big hit as Loris Ipanoff to the Fedora of Fanny 
Davenport. On his success Frohman had immediately 
secured him at a large salary for " Called Back," but, 
strange to say, his very success had made him bitter. 

" Here I am," he told me once, " earning five hundred 
dollars a week, while for years I struggled hard at fifty, 
every bit as good an actor and doing just as good work 
as I am doing now ! " 

And even my youthful assurance that it was better 
to be recognized late than never failed to lessen his 
grievance against fortune. 

Another member of the cast was C. P. Flockton — 
" Flocky," as everyone called him — a dear old English 
gentleman who bore the most extraordinary likeness to 
Irving. Indeed he always vowed that he had been 
compelled to leave England because Irving was so like 
him. A most lovable and quaint personality, Flockton 
died suddenly in the train on his way to California, at 
a great age, and my brother Herbert and Charles 
Stevenson — the husband of Kate Claxton, of " Two 
Orphans " fame — had the body cremated and the ashes 
brought to Fortune Bridge, Prince Edward's Island, 
where " Flocky " had a tiny cottage on a lonely promon- 
tory. Over the gentle old man's ashes a sundial was 
erected, and the natives always vowed that the dead 
actor's ghost " walked " If it did. I'm sure it would 
never have harmed anybody. 

104 Myself and Others 

Poor Kate Claxton, by the way, had the reputation 
of being a " fire bug," for it was a curious fact that 
theatre fires seemed to follow her wherever she went — 
and theatre fires in America were usually on a terrible 
scale, so the reputation was an unenviable one. 

Other members of the Frohman Company were 
W. Ferguson — whom I saw quite recently on 
the films — and Beatrice Cameron (Mrs. Richard 

We opened at the Fifth Avenue Theatre and had a 
big success, but in spite of success I grew terribly 
homesick, and implored Mr. Frohman to let me return 
to England. (I seem to have been always asking famous 
managers to release me in those days !) His answer 
was to cable to my brother Herbert to come out and 
bear me company, so I continued to play in " Called 
Back " to the end of the season, and then toured the 
big cities, even to New Orleans, a city which I had 
always longed to visit for the sake of an uncle whom I 
loved and whose romantic history as treasured in the 
family had always appealed to me. 

At twenty he had eloped with a bride of sixteen, 
my father's sister. Somehow or other they had reached 
America with twenty-five shillings between them, and 
eventually settled in New Orleans, where he built the 
fortifications and endured the Civil War. He lost his 
fortune in the Civil War, regained it and died a very 
wealthy man. So it is small wonder that New Orleans 
had always been invested with a halo of romance for 
me, for mysterious, wealthy uncles are treasured 
possessions in every well-regulated family. 

After the tour I returned to New York to play in 
" Sealed Instructions " at the Madison Square Theatre, 
following the run of " Hazel Kirke," a play by Steele 

Myself and Others 105 

Mackaye, which was supposed to have had the longest 
run America had known. 

I have several reasons to remember " Hazel Kirke." 

Some years afterwards it was produced at a matinee 
in London for the benefit of Mr. and Mrs. Whiffen. I 
played the part of Hazel, Mr. Fernandez played the 
father — and a wonderfully fine performance he gave — 
and my brother Frank was entrusted with a speech of 
one line. But Frank w^as determined to make that 
speech *' stand out," and, as he told me afterwards, he 
had endeavoured to " put a little character in it." 

So he made his entrance in the big scene, crying 
excitedly, in an unknown accent : " Hazel's droonin' ! 
Hazel's droonin' ! " 

" Hazel's what ? " gasped Fernandez in astonishment, 
utterly forgetting his cue. " My God, what is the 
matter with the boy ? " 

Frank had waited patiently all afternoon to make his 
" hit," and he made it by what he called " adding a 
little character and local colour." 

" Hazel Kirke " did not enjoy a long run in London, 
for the simple reason that Henry Pettitt claimed it as 
his piece " The Green Lanes of Old England " — which 
indeed it was, boldly transplanted to America and re- 

It needed all Pettitt's sense of humour to see the 
" joke." 

And Pettitt had a sense of humour. No one who 
heard it — this is horribly inconsequent, I know, but 
Pettitt's name evokes such a host of memories — can 
ever forget his description of his adventures with a 
music-hall " improvisatore," as the gentlemen in those 
days called themselves whose " speciality " was to 

106 Myself and Others 

improvise a few doggerel lines on any subject suggested 
by the audience. 

" H. P." and two or three friends found themselves 
in a music-hall one evening with one of these " turns " 
on the programme, and determined to test his poetic 
powers. The poet advanced to the footlights : 

" Ladies and gentlemen," he announced, " I will now 
with your kind permission introduce my celebrated 
improvisatore song, in which I not only undertake to 
spell any word you like to give me, but I will make a 
song and verse upon it." And then he sang : 

" I'll sing you an impromptu song, that you've not heard before. 
And when I have, then I am sure you'll want to hear some more. 
I'll spin you rhymes about the times, and soon you all will see 
How any word I'll spell for you in this my spelling-bee." 

Whereupon he stopped singing, advanced to the 
footlights, and asked : " Any lady or gen'man give me 
a word ? " 

" Parallelogram ! " called " H. P." 

" Thank you, sir," said the poet. " Parliament," 
and forthwith began : 

" p_a-r " 


No !" shouted Pettitt, " not ' parliament ' ; any 
fool can spell that ! ' Parallelogram ' I asked for, and 
if you can't spell that, try ' parallelepipedon.' " 

" ' Parliament ' was given me by the lady over there, 
sir, and my rule is ' ladies first,' " and he burst into 
song before he could be stopped : 

" P-a-r par, 1-i-a-m-e-n-t, Parliament, 
A place where many d-u-f, duff-e-r-s are sent 
The man who interrupts my song in that place he should be. 
Instead of interferin' in this my spelling-bee I " 

As soon as the applause ceased the poet asked for 
another word, and, undefeated, Pettitt shouted : " Pro- 
toplasm ! " 

Myself and Others 107 

But the singer would not have it, and started off on 
*' marriage," when his persecutor stopped him by 
loudly denouncing him as a fraud. 

" You say you can spell and sing about any word. I 
challenge you here and now to spell and sing a verse on 

* protoplasm ' ! " 

" I refuse ! " 

" Why do you refuse ? " 

" Because, sir, it is not a fit subject to spell and sing 
about before ladies ! " 

" Then if you won't — or can't — spell and sing ' pro- 
toplasm,' " went on Pettitt relentlessly, " I will give 
you one more chance, and if you don't take it I declare 
you to be an impostor. The word I give you is 

* apotheosis.' " 

" And I decline it, sir ! " retorted the victim with 
pardonable warmth. " So long as I, a respectable 
singer, sing in a respectable hall, before a highly respec- 
table audience, I will not, under any blackguardly 
threat, make up verses on scriptural subjects ! " 

Whereupon the highly respectable applause was 

But this is a long way from " Hazel Kirke." 

On my return to New York I was handed a cable 
from Mr. Terriss asking me to return at once to London 
to be " leading lady " at the Adelphi. While I was in 
America with Frohman, Terriss had been playing the 
lead with Miss Mary Anderson, so for a time we had both 
left the Lyceum Company. At first Miss Anderson had 
not been altogether successful ; but she pluckily 
struggled on, and in the end became deservedly popular 
with London audiences, and never again suffered such 
an ordeal as the " voice from the gallery " which, on 
her first appearance in " The Hunchback," countered 

108 Myself and Others 

her line, " I do not feel happy," with " No, miss, an' 
you don't look it ! " 

My reply was : " Sailing in a week," and once again I 
got a celebrated manager to " release " me. 

On my arrival in England I found that the production 
of " The Harbour Lights " was to be postponed for a 
few weeks, and I made my first appearance at the 
Adelphi in the part of Fanny Power in a short revival 
of " Arrah Na Pogue," which was replaced a few weeks 
later by " The Colleen Bawn," in which I played Ann 
Chute, and in which I played for the first time with Mr. 
Terriss at the famous old theatre. 

In the course of these two revivals I also became for 
the first time associated with Miss Mary Brough, J. D. 
Beveridge, Charles Glenney, J. L. Shine, and Robert 

Ever a fine actor, Mr. Pateman had in those days 
acquired quite a reputation in medical circles for the 
extraordinary realism with which he indulged in fits 
on the stage. By some curious chance he had played 
more than one character addicted to these unpleasant- 
nesses, and when I met him quite recently at the 
Hammersmith Theatre, enjoying Mr. Bransby William's 
wonderful performance in his Dickens' play, he reminded 
me of an amusing incident in connection with one of 
these pathological studies. 

Mrs. Pateman had a new maid, and, wishing to give 
her a little treat — even in those days it was just as well 
to keep on the right side of one's servants — she gave 
her a ticket to see her master act. 

To her mistress's intense surprise, the new maid 
arrived home shortly before nine in a terrible state of 

" What on earth is the matter ? " asked the mistress. 


Myself and Others 109 

" Oh, mum, I hardly like to tell you, but you must be 
brave ! The poor dear master's had a fit, before all 
those people, and I've run home to have a hot bath 
ready for him and some warm blankets ! " 

It took quite a long time to persuade her that the 
" fit " was only part of her evening's amusement, but 
how many modern domestics would allow their master's 
indisposition, real or imaginary, to interfere with their 
" evening out," I wonder ? 

" The Harbour Lights," by Messrs. Sims and Pettitt, 
was produced on December 23, 1886, and was the first 
of the long series of Adelphi successes with which Mr. 
Terriss and I were associated, running at the one theatre 
without interruption for five hundred and thirteen nights. 

During the whole of that run Mr. Terriss and I were 
never out of the cast together. On several occasions 
he was out of the bill for long week-ends, from Friday 
until Monday, and one of my holidays was a sea voyage 
to New York and back, for by this time I had grown 
fond of the sea. 

Acting with us in a play which made its mark in the 
history of what came to be called " Adelphi drama," 
were Miss Mary Rorke, Miss Clara Jecks, Mrs. Leigh, 
Miss Jenny Rogers, E. W. Garden, J. D. Beveridge, and 
W. L. Abingdon, all of whom became dear to the 
regular patrons of the old Adelphi. 

And " The Harbour Lights " also made its mark in 
the history of Miss Mary Rorke. 

There was a long wait in the second act, and one 
evening as we were sitting together I said to her suddenly: 

" Mary, I dreamt that you were married ! " 

I had only just remembered my dream, but to my 
astonishment she seemed to take it quite seriously. 

" Did you ? " she asked quietly. " When ? " 

110 Myself and Others 

" Last Tuesday." 

" I was." 

On the Tuesday she had married Frank St. Aubyn, 
and they had meant to keep it a secret for the time. 

Another member of the cast who has since filled an 
important position in the world of the theatre was Mr. 
Robert Courtneidge. 

Mr. Courtneidge was then a very young man, the 
*' boy " of the company, and as fate would have it he 
was cast to play the part of an ancient villager, and I 
remember how we used to roar over his line : 

" Ah'm the oldest inhabitant in th' village, and ah 
'aven't a tooth to me yead ! " 

Another youthful member of the company who 
played a tiny part was Morell Mackenzie, the son of the 
great surgeon, Sir Morell Mackenzie. 

Sir Morell was a true friend to the theatrical pro- 
fession, and many an actor and actress of those days 
had cause to be grateful to him for his kindness and 
his skill. 

He often visited the theatre, and one evening, noticing 
from his seat that I appeared to be suffering from a 
sore throat, he came round to my dressing-room and 
insisted on examining it. It was pretty bad, and giving 
me something to relieve it for that evening, he told me 
to call to see him the next morning, when he again 
examined it, and treated it, telling me that it would be 
necessary for me to call on him each day for some little 

One morning he seemed to take longer than usual in 
his examination. 

" Miss Millward," he said suddenly. " You have 
been to some other doctor." 

" Good gracious, no ! " I replied. 

Myself and Others ill 

" Well, someone has been tampering with your 

I then told him that each evening after the per- 
formance, as my throat had felt very tired and sore, 
Mr. Terriss, before leaving the theatre, had come to 
my room and painted it with a little brush. 

" H'm," said Sir Morell. " Give my compliments to 
Mr. Terriss, and tell him that I say he is a very good 
actor but a very bad doctor, and that in future we will 
stick to our own professions." 

In those palmy days of the old Adelphi there was 
not quite the same luxury " behind the scenes " that 
the modern young actor seems to expect, and even 
leading actors did not always have dressing-rooms to 

For instance, Abingdon and two other principals 
shared one large room which was reached by a short 
staircase from the back of the stage, and it was their 
custom to take their letters from the hands of the stage 
door-keeper as they entered the theatre each evening, 
carry them up to the room, and read them as they 

One evening a letter addressed to Abingdon was 
handed by accident to Terriss, who opened it without 
reading the address, and was very annoyed when he 
realized the mistake. He went in search of the proper 
owner, who had not, however, arrived at the theatre. 

" That idiot at the stage door is always mixing up 
our letters," he said. " He ought to be more careful. 
This is one of Abingdon's that he has given me, and 
I've opened it. Luckily it's nothing very important, 
only a bill from his bootmaker, but I'll have to explain 
and apologize, and Abingdon is a funny-tempered 

112 Myself and Others 

" Seal it up and say nothing about it," suggested an 
occupant of Abingdon's dressing-room. " It isn't as 
if it were anything important. Give it to me, and I'll 
send it down to the stage door-keeper." 

The envelope was not torn, so was easily fastened up 
again, and was handed back to the stage door-keeper 
with orders to be more careful in future. 

Soon after Abingdon entered Terriss's dressing-room 
with the identical letter in his hand. He opened it a 
trifle ostentatiously, read it through with a tolerant 
smile, then tore it carefully, if a trifle melodramatically, 
into small pieces. 

*' Silly little fool ! " he muttered. 

" What's the matter, old fellow ? " asked Terriss. 

" Nothing — nothing. Only another silly little fool 
of a married woman wants me to take her out to supper." 

And he never understood why his hearer roared with 

Poor Abingdon died by his own hand in 191 8 in 
America, where he had been for the last twelve years 
of his life. He was fifty-eight years of age, and made 
his first appearance in the West End in 1887 in " Shadows 
of a Great City " at the Princess's ; and after playing 
in several pieces there, including " The Mystery of a 
Hansom Cab," " The Still Alarm," and " Hands Across 
the Sea," he migrated to the Adelphi, where his successes 
as the villain were numerous. It used to be said of 
*' Billy " Abingdon that he could provoke hisses from a 
virtuous pit and gallery more easily than any other 
" villain " on the stage. Originally he came from 
Northampton, where his father, a tailor named Pilgrim, 
had a shop in Abingdon Street — hence the stage name 
*' Abingdon." 

Although certain of the " highbrows " of the period 

Myself and Others 113 

affected to despise the Adelphi drama — the gloom of 
Ibsen was then the fashonable cult — the Adelphi had 
many famous and regular patrons in the ranks of 
society, and the late King Edward, then Prince of 
Wales, was a fairly frequent visitor. One evening during 
the run of " Harbour Lights " I had the honour of being 
presented to him, and he was kind enough to recall the 
success of Hero. 

There was always a little extra excitement and 
nervousness behind the curtain when it became known 
that " the Prince " — there was only one " Prince " in 
those days — was in front, and this may possibly explain 
an appalling slip made one evening by Mr. Terriss as 
he spoke the concluding lines of the play. 

The lines as they left the author's hands were : 

" And straight before me, like two rays of hope, I 
see the harbour lights." 

As they left the actor's lips that evening the lines 
ran : 

" And straight before me, like two bars of soap, I see 
the harbour lights." 

It was in the later Adelphi days, when the Prince 
visited the theatre on the eve of Persimmon's Ascot 
Gold Cup, that Mr. Terriss in his usual hearty way 
wished the Royal owner luck, and added : " We've all 
got our shirts on Persimmon, sir." The Prince laughed 
and thanked him for his good wishes, and later, when 
the horse had won, in response to a telegram of loyal 
congratulations came a wire from Marlborough House : 

" The Prince of Wales thanks Mr. Terriss for his 
congratulations, and is glad that Mr. Terriss has retained 
his shirt." 

If he indeed ventured his shirt it was contrary to 
his usual principle, for his invariable answer to the 


114 Myself and Others 

question : " Do you fancy anything for to-day ? " was : 
" Yes, a little filly I've often backed and never lost a 
penny over, Common Sense, ridden by little Tommy 

The Prince was nowhere more popular than in 
theatrical circles, as guest and as host, but while no one 
entered more thoroughly into the spirit of the occasion 
than he did, or was more solicitous that others should 
enjoy themselves in his presence, he knew when and 
how to assert his dignity, and a well-known actor had 
good reason to regret his egregious taste in inflicting a 
risky story on a dinner party at Marlborough House 
given by the Prince to certain well-known managers 
and members of the theatrical profession. 

And at one time an amusing story went the rounds 
of a little faux pas on the part of a certain lady of the 
lighter stage who had married into the peerage, and, 
possibly on the strength of her new rank, had been 
invited to meet the Prince. Her husband, probably 
knowing her free-and-easy manners only too well, 
cautioned her most carefully as to her behaviour in the 
Royal presence — for she was to sit at the Prince's table — 
and was relieved to see that, so far as he could judge, 
his wife was behaving admirably. Above all, he had 
cautioned her : " Whatever you do, don't rise from the 
table until the Prince rises," and knowing her im- 
patience at a long sitting he saw with relief the Prince 
rise first. 

As soon as he reached his wife's side he congratulated 
her on her behaviour. 

" Oh, that was all right," repHed the lady. " I 
remembered what you told me and sat tight until he 
rose. But when he did, I couldn't help saying, ' My God, 
sir, I thought you were going to sit there all night ! 

5 )> 

Myself and Others 115 

Another great patron of the Adelphi was Lord 
Londesborough, a tall, distinguished-looking man who 
had lost one eye, and who used often to come behind, 
wearing a long and shabby sealskin coat. And yet 
another Adelphi habitue who always interested me 
greatly was Mr. Justice Hawkins, later Lord Brampton, 
who, with his wife, was a frequent visitor. 

It was in the palmy days of the Adelphi that Mr. 
Terriss — who was the most abstemious man in the 
world, and whose passion for bread-and-milk during 
the third act of a blood-curdling part would astonish 
many a dance club frequenting young actor of to-day — 
to the astonishment of everybody bought a licensed 
house, " The Market House," in Covent Garden. When 
this became known his theatrical friends made a point 
of calling, and, pretending to find fault with something, 
would insist on seeing the proprietor. When Terriss 
found that it was no longer possible to keep the secret 
he used occasionally to look in after the theatre and 
humour his " pals," who insisted upon being served by 
the proprietor himself, whom they would invite to 
drink with them, taking no refusal. For these occasions 
there was a special bottle of gin reserved for the 
proprietor, but the gin was undiluted water. 

Soon after he had bought the place there was a good 
deal of chaff over the regulation which provided that 
the licensee's name should be in a prominent position 
over the door. 

" Think what a fine advertisement it will be for your 
acting, old chap," said one humorist, and when at last 
Terriss announced that the name was up his friends 
trooped down in a body to inspect it. 

The name was up, but to their disappointment it was 
not that of William Terriss, but of William Charles 

H 2 

116 Myself and Others 

James Lewin — his real name — which conveyed little or 
nothing to the ordinary man in the street. 

It was also whispered that he was associated with the 
host of " The Mitre " in Chancery Lane — a Devonshire 
man named Drew, nicknamed " The Abbot " — in many 
of his enterprises. In any case, Mr. Terriss made a 
good deal of money during the public-house boom in 
the 'nineties, and retained for some time his interest 
in " The Market House," in the days when that hostelry 
kept open practically all night, and did a roaring trade 
in early breakfasts for late revellers. 

Although he never admitted that he had an interest 
in " The Mitre " he frequently lunched there, and 
fameless dramatists would frequent the little parlour 
in the hopes of getting a word with him. Perhaps it 
was his taste which decorated the walls of the tavern 
with a collection of pictures far above the average to be 
seen in a city chop-house, amongst which were studies 
by Stacey Marks, some drawings of graceful girls by 
Kate Greenaway's father, and some paintings by 

A sound business man, a very fair judge of pictures, a 
lover of the open air, and a devotee of the simple life — 
" Your public pay you for the best that is in you," he 
once told me when I came down to the theatre tired 
after a reception in the afternoon, " and how can you 
give them value for money if you spend the time you 
ought to have been resting in a vitiated atmosphere ? " — 
Terriss was also a very good judge of plays, and, what 
is equally important from the pecuniary point of view, 
a very good judge of the public taste in plays. 

From his experiences with " Trilby " and " The Man's 
Shadow " which I have already related, the reader will 
see that in these two instances his judgment was not 

Myself and Others 117 

far at fault, but I am afraid it was very much at fault 
with regard to " The Devil's Disciple," by Mr. Bernard 

For one thing he loathed having plays read to him — 
" I would not have a MS. read to me if there were 
millions in it," he once wrote to a friend ; " send it on 
and I will run through it " — and when Mr. Shaw wrote 
to ask if he might read a play to Mr. Terriss and myself 
I feared the worst. I persuaded Mr. Terriss to consent, 
but my fears were justified. From the very first things 
went badly. 

Mr. Shaw arrived about three o'clock and I was much 
struck by his appearance : to my unsophisticated eyes 
he looked more like a farmer than a famous playwright. 

He sat down and in a business-like way began to 
read, and in a little while, to my horror, I saw that Mr. 
Terriss, who was sitting in a big chair beside the fire, 
was beginning to nod. Taking advantage of a pause 
while the dramatist was turning over a leaf, I suggested 
to Terriss that we should change places, saying that I 
felt rather cold. We changed places, and the reading 
went on. 

But in ten minutes or so Terriss was indubitably 

Mr. Shaw read on, and when he reached the end of 
the second act he stopped for a moment. The sudden 
silence woke Terriss. 

" No, Shaw, no," he said, shaking his head. " I'm 
afraid it won't do. I don't Hke the end. It isn't 
suited to Miss Millward and myself." 

" Mr. Terriss," said Mr. Shaw, " I have not finished 
the play, and I am not going to finish it." 

Feeling that if ever there was an uncomfortable 
moment this was one, I rang for tea 

118 Myself and Others 

" Have a whisky and soda ? " suggested Terriss. 

" Thank you, I never drink anything but water," 
replied Mr. Shaw. Worse and worse ! 

Luckily it was now nearly four o clock, and when I 
was acting I always dined at four, so I asked the two 
men to stay to dinner. They both gloomily accepted. 

We sat down to table. The maid handed some dish 
to Mr. Shaw. 

" No, thank you," he said. " I never eat meat." 

This seemed absolutely the last straw, and I don't 
think I completely recovered until he rose to go. 

Before leaving he turned and fired a parting shot. 

" I didn't have you in my mind for the part, Mr. 
Terriss," he said coldly. " I wanted Miss Millward, 
and I hope that some day she will play in one of my 

Mr. Shaw was right in his estimate of his work, and 
Mr. Terriss was wrong, for the play was " The Devil's 
Disciple," in which Sir Johnston Forbes Robertson 
played so superbly in England, and Mr. Richard Mans- 
field in America. 

We cannot always foretell the future, which, on the 
whole perhaps, is better for our happiness and peace of 

But play-reading is an ordeal, both to the reader and 
the read-to, and at times the ordeal is more severe than 
usual. It is, I suppose, largely a matter of temperament. 

There is a very well-known and very temperamental 
actress who completely upset a brilliant young play- 
wright on his attempt to read her a play in her Ken- 
sington drawing-room. 

Unfortunately her pet dog was in the room, and her 
anxiety about the little beast overshadowed her interest 
in the play. Every half-minute or so she interrupted the 

Myself and Others 119 

reading by tender little cries of adoration — to the dog ; 
ardent enquiries after the health and comfort — of the 
dog ; admiring ejaculations about the cleverness — of 
the dog. 

At the end of the first act the brilliant young author 
folded his manuscript, and, declaring that art could not 
compete with nature, stalked out into the sunshine in 
a state of furious indignation. He entered Kensington 
Gardens, boiling with rage and jealousy, and in the 
gardens met a very famous dramatist indeed. The 
great writer, seeing his perturbed condition, made 
sympathetic enquiries, and together they paced the 
gardens, the older man in silence, the younger man 
pouring out his flow of indignation — against the dog. 

On thev wandered, along the bank of the Serpentine, 
and at last, by the statue of Peter Pan, the young man 
ceased the tale of his woes, possibly from want of 

" My dear boy," then said the creator of Peter Pan, 
laying a sympathetic hand on his young friend's arm. 
" / once read a play to that damned dog." 

And I " tell the tale as 'twas told to me." 


The Adelphi. — An advertisement record. — A quaint publicity " stunt." 
— The Adelphi audiences. — The " unknown admirer."— Mysterious tips. — 
The people who know everyone and everything. — Jessamine Cottage.— My 
gardener, Haddon. — Charles Frohman, William Gillette and Terriss as 
rose lovers. — Haddon 's trip to town. — Seymour Hicks and a rest cure. — A 
surprise visit. — The rest cure starts. — A bicycle accident. — Champagne 
or death. — End of the rest cure. — George Edwardes' comment. — Terriss's 
fearlessness. — Rescue of a small boy. — A runaway. — Miss Olga Nethsr- 
sole. — An enthusiastic social pioneer. — A trip to the Canaries. — The shot 
seagull. — The Ancient Mariner. — The tragic fulfilment. — European fame — 
Santa Catalina and the invalids. — America with Terriss. — Salvini. — Fair 
play for the gladiator. — An impresario's tact. — A tired Othello. — Sir 
Herbert Tree. — " Paul Kauvar." — Sir Augustus Harris. 

THE first turning-point in my career had been my 
appearance with Irving at the Lyceum ; the second 
turning-point was my appearance with Terriss at 
the Adelphi. 

With the enormous success of " Harbour Lights " the 
Adelphi drama, as it was called, came into its own, and 
from 1885 to 1887 I was identified with it and with Mr. 
Terriss in a series of successes which included " The 
Bells of Haslemere," " The Union Jack," " The Silver 
Falls," and " The Shaughraun." 

But it was "The Harbour Lights " that set the vogue, 
and I may perhaps be forgiven if I have a tender spot 
in my heart for that fine old drama. 

From a sordid business point of view the success of 
course was immense, and the theatrical world of the 



Myself and Others 121 

day rang with stories of the huge sums involved. For 
example, in the matter of advertising " The Harbour 
Lights " created a record in those days, and it may be 
of interest to the enterprising modern theatrical manager, 
such as Mr. Cochran, that the huge pictorial poster, 
which caused no small sensation, measured twenty feet 
by fourteen — which represented fifty-six double crown 
sheets — and was printed in twenty-eight parts and in 
five colours. One hundred and forty stones were used, 
one for each colour, twenty-eight times. Each stone 
cost ^5 and weighed seven hundredweight. This huge 
poster cost something like ^600 a thousand, and three- 
pence a sheet was the charge for posting the bill, so 
that each time it was displayed it cost fourteen shillings, 
and if fifty copies were posted — which is about the 
average number used in the large provincial town — the 
outlay was ^35. This was the cost of one bill, only 
intended to last a week or two, so my readers can 
conceive the amount of capital required even in those 
days to take a well-billed play on tour. 

But theatrical advertisement is a world of its own, 
of which, I fear, I know but very little, but before I 
forget let me chronicle one ostentatious proclamation 
I saw in a Western American town during a tour with 
Mr. Terriss. It did not say much for certain of the 
rival combinations that this particular show drew an 
enormous amount of publicity by its announcement : 

"We pay our salaries regularly every week; by so 
doing we avoid law expenses, are not compelled to 
change our folk, and always carry our watches in our 
pockets ! " 

But in those early Adelphi days life was too full of 
interest — work, success, fame and joy — for the Jessie 
Millward of that time to bother her head about such 

122 Myself and Others 

squalid details as "double-crown posters" and publicity 
" stunts." 

The Adelphi soon collected an audience of its own — 
an audience subtly distinct from that in any other West 
End theatre. Just as the Lyceum had its special and 
unmistakable atmosphere, just as the jeunesse doree gave 
its peculiar cachet to the old Gaiety, so did the Adelphi 
gather its audience from every section and every class, 
and blend them into a perfectly recognizable and 
distinct entity. 

And the player must be of a different nature to mine 
who would not revel in their whole-souled devotion and 
their generosity. One was inspired to give the best 
that was in one ; not to do so seemed a lack of loyalty, 
an ingratitude. 

Night after night one had almost to fight one's way 
to and from the stage door through the waiting crowds ; 
night after night the same rapturous welcome greeted 
one — it must have been a poor and niggardly heart 
which did not warm at such whole-souled recognition 
and encouragement. ' 

And then there were the quaint and sometimes touch- 
ing little missives from the strangers one had pleased. 

It was at the Adelphi, for example, that I first experi- 
enced the " unknown admirer." 

Regularly on the eve of a big race — I was blissfully 
ignorant of the high mysteries of racing, and at that 
time had never even seen a racehorse — as I entered the 
theatre the stage door-keeper would hand me a 
mysterious and rather grubby scrap of paper, twisted 
into the form of a cocked hat. Opening it, in an 
illiterate hand I would find the name of a horse — and 
only the name of a horse ; no message, no protestations 
of eternal love, no word of praise for my art or myself — 

Myself and Others 123 

merely the name of a horse engaged in the " big race," 
and the signature was always : 

" From your admirer." 

And what makes the story still more extraordinary 
is that the horses generally won. 

One evening there was a change in tone. Instead of 
a tip for the " big race " the letter contained a tip for 
the Stock Exchange. 

Now if there was one subject in the wide world of 
which my ignorance was more abysmal than racing it 
was the Stock Exchange, and knowing that Mr. Terriss 
was an excellent but very cautious judge of stocks and 
shares I consulted him about it. He made enquiries 
from some Stock Exchange friends, and the report was 
that the " tip " was an advisable one, " though how your 
friend has got to know of it is a mystery. Only the 
people on the inside know anything about it." 

Thoroughly mystified, I asked the stage door-keeper 
what the writer of these curious love-letters was like. 

" He's a very shabby, and a very little, elderly man, 
miss," he replied. " And he always says ' There's no 
answer ' ! " 

" The next time he comes," I said, " ask his name, and 
tell him that I should like to thank him for his kindness." 

A day or two afterwards I received another of the 
familiar " cocked hats " — it was a horse this time, I 
think — and, on asking the stage door-keeper if he had 
delivered my message : 

" Yes, miss," he replied, " but he wouldn't leave his 
name. All he said was, ' She wouldn't know me, and 
she wouldn't want to.' " 

Of course there were Adelphi habitues of quite a 
different type ! 

124 Myself and Others 

There were, for instance, the people who knew all 
about one, from one's age to one's favourite breakfast 
food, and who were only too glad to impart their know- 
ledge to the occupants of the seats around them. But 
this is a type peculiar to no theatre. 

On a visit to " The Harbour Lights " my dear mother 
was the recipient of some wholly novel information 
about m.e. 

For some time she had been annoyed by the criticisms 
of two ladies seated in the stalls ii' mediately behind her, 
who, from their loud-voiced remarks, seemed to be on 
intimate terms with the actors and actresses on the stage. 

Then I made my first entrance. 

" Ah," said one of the ladies complacently, " there's 
Jessie Millward. It is wonderful how young she keeps,, 
is it not ? " 

" It is dear," replied the other loudly. " To look at 
her no one would believe that she was the mother of 
five children." 

This was too much for my poor mother. 

Flouncing round in her seat, she interrupted the 

" Madam," she said, in vast indignation, " I beg your 
pardon ! Miss Millward is my daughter, and is un- 
married ! " 

Which reminds me that some time later I was sitting 
in the stalls of the Lyceum watching the " Lyons Mail," 
in which Mr. Terriss appeared as the dandy, Courriol. 
He looked splendidly youthful in the Incroyable costume, 
which suited his slim figure to perfection, and I was some- 
what astonished to hear the woman on my left observe : 

" How wonderfully well Terriss looks, considering his 
age. I know for 3. fact he is well over sixty." 

I could not resist turning to her and blurting : 

Myself and Others 125 

" And I know for 2Lfact that he is still in his thirties ! " 

But it is impossible to impress everyone, and there 
were actually some people in the world who did not 
take sufficient interest in the theatre to invent stories 
about the ages of the artists. Such a person was my 
gardener, Haddon, who lived mainly for his roses at my 
little country place, " Jessamine Cottage." 

And Haddon's roses certainly were wonderful. I 
think the only time I ever saw him unbend about them 
was one glorious summer afternoon when Charles 
Frohman, William Gillette and Terriss, who were 
spending the day with me, insisted on sending for him 
to compliment him on his success. They were all rose 
lovers, and they and Haddon talked together as experts. 

One day Haddon casually mentioned — as a matter 
of the utmost unimportance — that although living for 
years within a few miles of the West End and theatre- 
land he had never visited London. 

The revelation appalled me,and,.thinking to give him a 
treat, I insisted that he should leave his roses and my pony 
and trap, which occupied the next place in his affections, 
and spend a whole day in London sightseeing. 

He consented — without enthusiasm — and I grew quite 
excited as I mapped out a day's round of sights, writing 
out carefully for him a list of the things he was on no 
account to miss, with elaborate directions how to get from 
one place to another; the whole expedition was to con- 
clude with a visit to the theatre, for which I got him a seat. 

On the eventful morning, my faithful maid and friend 
Lottie — Lottie deserves a place all to herself in these 
pages, and later she shall have it — told me that Haddon 
had left to catch the eight o'clock train and was " going 
to make a day of it." All morning I pictured Haddon 
let loose on the wonders of London ; Haddon gazing 

126 Myself and Others 

awe-struck at the Crown Jewels in the Tower ; Haddon 
wandering reverently through the dim Abbey ; Haddon 
glancing approval at the Life Guards in their scarlet and 
glod ; Haddon perhaps even having the luck to raise 
his hat to Royalty itself ; Haddon at the Zoo ; Haddon 
in Rotten Row ; Haddon in an A.B.C. — in fact Haddon 
obsessed me, and I began to feel the responsibility of 
plunging this peaceful rose lover in the whirl of the 
great city. 

After lunch, with cushions and a book I was seeking a 
shady corner of the garden when a familiar " click- 
click-click " reached my ears. 

I looked and saw the returned traveller amongst his 
beloved roses. 

" Back so soon, Haddon ? " I gasped. 

" Yes, miss," he replied calmly. " I don't take to 
that London ; it's too noisy." 

But even Jessamine Cottage was not always peaceful. 

Mr. Tcrriss had the most wonderful health : the 
possessor of a fine constitution, he took the greatest care 
of it, and always prided himself on his physical fitness, 
but the long strain of work without a real break began 
to tell on him, and the doctors told him that if he 
wanted to avoid a break-down a short rest was essential. 
After much persuasion he consented, and it was arranged 
that he should go to the Isle of Wight, George Edwardes 
giving Seymour Hicks, who afterwards married Ella, 
permission to leave the Gaiety to go with him. I went 
to Waterloo Station to see them off, and, to the astonish- 
ment of all of us, on the platform was Terriss's brother, 
dear old Bob Lewin, who announced his intention of 
going to the Isle of Wight as well, in order to help to 
look after the invalid. Dear Bob was one of those 
steady-going, regular, old bachelor souls who never 

Myself and Others 127 

deviate one hair's-breadth from the daily routine. It had 
been a great sacrifice for him to tear himself away from 
his usual round, but he considered it to be his duty to look 
after his brother and he had made the sacrifice. It was 
his duty ; he had performed it — but still, it was a sacrifice. 

And he greatly resented the presence of the volatile 
Seymour, whom he no doubt looked upon as hardly an 
ideal companion for an invalid embarking on a rest cure. 
So there was a heated argument on the platform between 
the three of them — the invalid and his two " nurses " — 
which lasted until the bell rang, when they all clambered 
into the carriage, still arguing at the tops of their voices, 
and as the train steamed out the last I heard was the 
voice of Seymour proclaiming loudly that he, at any 
rate, was going away for peace and quiet ! 

With a sigh of relief I drove off to the Adelphi for the 
Saturday matinee, and throughout the matinee and the 
evening performances looked forward to a quiet week- 
end at Jessamine Cottage with my brother. He and 
I caught the midnight train from Paddington, and were 
met at Windsor by the faithful Haddon with the pony 
and trap, and soon drove the four miles to Winkfield. 

On opening the cottage door, which led directly into 
my sitting-room, I was horrified to see three dirty pairs 
of men's boots in front of the fireplace. 

My brother and I looked at one another in silence. 

There was a slight movement upstairs. 

" Burglars ! " I whispered. 

Firmly clutching his stick, my brother made for the 
staircase, and I followed him. 

At the sound of our steps, three bedroom doors burst 
open simultaneously, and three figures appeared on the 
landing, all speaking at once, and all arguing at the tops 
of their voices — Bob, Terriss and Seymour. 

128 Myself and Others 

My sympathies were with poor Seymour. 

" Seymour," I said firmly, " come down and tell me 
all about it. As for you, Willie and Bob, I will hear 
your account to-morrow. Go to bed ! " 

And then Seymour came downstairs and told me all 
about the start of the rest cure. 

The train left with the travellers arguing hotly ; 
they argued for miles, and when they reached Ports- 
mouth the compartment contained three travellers who 
were not on speaking terms. On the Portsmouth 
platform Terriss had an idea. 

" I won't go to the Isle of Wight," he said firmly. 
" Beastly hole, the Isle of Wight ; not a soul to speak 
to. Why not give Jessie a surprise and all go back to 
Jessamine Cottage ? " 

" Anything for a quiet life," said Seymour, with a 
savage glance at poor Bob Lewin. So catching a train 
to Woking, the trio then hired a dilapidated station 
landau, which broke down from sheer old age half-way 
to Ascot, and there was a delay for repairs. Having 
left Waterloo at ten in the morning, they finally reached 
Jessamine Cottage, via Portsmouth, at ten o'clock at 
night, and by the time poor Seymour had finished the 
recital of his adventures it was four o'clock in the 
morning. I told him to go to bed, and, worn out, he 
slept till one o'clock in the afternoon. 

After lunch, as it seemed time to start the rest cure, I 
suggested that Mr. Terriss should lie down, that Seymour 
should run over to Staines, where Ella was staying, and 
that mv brother and Bob should go for a bicycle ride, 
my brother on my bicycle and Bob on Terriss's. The 
last two said it seemed a good idea ; that they were 
not used to bicycling, but that it might be amusing. 

So, having disposed of the surplus population of the 

Myself and Others 129 

cottage, I curled myself up in a garden chair on the lawn, 
feeling that I had had a very strenuous time. I had 
dozed for about half an hour I suppose when the gate 
clicked, and, opening my eyes, I saw Bob and Percy 
entering the garden festooned with broken bicycles, 
which they were carrying on their shoulders. It seemed 
that shortly after starting Bob had made for a ditch, 
and out of pure sympathy my brother on a lady's 
bicycle had followed him. The ditch and the collision 
in the ditch explained the broken bicycles. 

But the end of the rest cure was not yet. 

Barely had we started our evening meal when again 
the inexorable " click " of the gate was heard, and 
looking up : " Good Lord ! " groaned Bob Lewin 
dejectedly, " here's Seymour ! " 

Into the room in his best jeune -premier manner, full 
of life and buoyancy, burst Seymour. 

" Hullo, everybody ! " he cried breezily. " How 
well you're all looking ! Splendid ! Capital ! Nothing 
like a rest cure ! Jessie, I had such a ripping night's 
rest that I want you to put me up again to-night ! " 

So for the second night my brother slept on the sofa, 
and I could not blame him when he left by an appallingly 
early train on the Monday morning, saying he had an 
important breakfast appointment in the city. 

But the peaceful week-end in the country was not over. 

As I had been eaten out of hearth and home, I explained 
that anybody who wanted lunch would have to go to 
Windsor for it, so we drove over through the forest. 

When the Castle came in sight. Bob meaningly 
suggested that he and Terriss should go quietly over it. 
Seymour and I at once understood that we were not 
wanted, so wandered on to the hotel to order lunch. 
The meal ordered, we sat in the lounge waiting for the 


130 Myself and Others 

return of the sightseers, and Seymour was unusually 
silent. Suddenly he burst out : 

" Jessie," he exclaimed solemnly, " if I don't have 
some champagne I think I shall die ! " 

" Then for goodness' sake have it ! " I begged him. 

" But I've come out without any money." 

" Never mind ; I'll pay for it. You deserve it." 

The champagne arrived, and hardly had it been 
uncorked before : 

"Here they are!" I exclaimed, and Seymour promptly 
hid the bottle beneath the table, knowing that Bob 
Lewin strongly disapproved of such wild extravagance. 

To my surprise, Willie seemed quite his old self again ; 
all traces of fag and nerviness were gone, and he threw 
himself into a chair announcing that he felt simply 
splendid, and would like nothing in the world better 
than a glass of champagne. 

Seymour and I looked at one another. 

" Seymour," I said, " lift up the champagne ! " 

Which was the end of the only nervous break-down I 
ever knew Mr. Terriss to have, for that night, to the sur- 
prise of everybody and to the disgust of his understudy, 
he appeared at the Adelphi, and, to the astonishment of 
George Edwardes, Seymour appeared at the Gaiety. 

And I heard afterwards that when George Edwardes 
was told the story, he observed : " I knew that there 
would be something original about a rest cure personally 
conducted by Seymour ! " 

It seemed absurd to connect Mr. Terriss with " nerves " 
and the necessity for a rest cure, for he was blessed 
with a superb constitution, of which he took the utmost 
possible care. A lover of the " open " and the " simple 
life," he was always in the pink of condition, and late hours 
and lavish meals made not the slightest appeal to him. 

Myself and Others 131 

It was his perpetual state of being " in training " that 
made possible many of the incidents which at times 
startled his friends, but of which he himself seemed to 
think little or nothing. In her book Miss Terry has 
told of his jumping into the river to save life, and, on 
his arrival dripping w^et at the theatre, replying merely 
" Looks like it " to someone's query as to whether it 
was raining, and I myself was on two occasions the 
witness of feats for which most men would, quite 
pardonably, have assumed a fair amount of credit. 

Once, during a tour of costume recitals which we made 
together, I was walking with him on the pier at East- 
bourne when we heard cries, and looking over we saw 
that a small boy who had been climbing on the supports 
under the pier had somehow managed to get wedged be- 
tween the planks and had been reached by the rising tide. 
Instantly Terriss threw off his hat and coat and gave 
one leap from the pier into the water. I honestly con- 
fess that I dared not look until I heard his voice crying : 
" It's all right. I've got him." 

And then I saw that he had extricated the boy and 
was swimming towards the shore. Picking up his hat 
and coat, I flew along the pier, arriving just in time to 
see them land, and the rescuer give the rescued a good 
shake, a short sharp lecture, and send him flying home to 
change his wet clothes. 

Where he himself was concerned, Terriss was, physi- 
cally, absolutely fearless. 

On another occasion I was walking with him by the 
side of the Row in Hyde Park. It was two o'clock ; 
there were very few people about ; and suddenly a 
horse, ridden by a lady, came galloping furiously down 
the Row. The brute had got the bit in its teeth and 
the rider had lost all control, and her groom was pound- 

I 2 

132 Myself and Others 

ing along behind in the vain hope of catching it. As 
soon as he caught sight of it Terriss darted into the 
path of the runaway, made a wild snatch at the bridle 
as the beast passed him, caught it, and was dragged 
for some distance before he managed to pull the animal 
up, and the groom came to his assistance. For some 
time after that little episode he was obliged to carry his 
arm in a sling, and gave evasive answers to enquirers at 
the theatre who wanted to know what had happened to it. 

It was during the series of plays which followed " The 
Harbour Lights " at the Adelphi that I first acted 
with Miss Olga Nethersolc, who made a sensational 
success in the part of Lola in the Sims and Pettitt play, 
" The Silver Falls." 

Lola was a fascinating adventuress, and much 
curiosity had arisen in the theatre as to the dresses she 
was to wear. They did not appear at the dress re- 
hearsals — they were not quite ready, we heard — and 
it was not until Miss Nethersole went on the stage on 
the first night that the mystery was solved. They were 
superb, and so was her performance. During the play 
Mr. Terriss came to me in some excitement, saying that 
his dresser, whom he had sent into the gallery between 
the acts to report on the effect the play was producing 
on the " gods," had told him that there was a " claque," 
but, whether this was so or not. Miss Nethersole once 
more exemplified the truth of the perverted proverb : 
" A good performance needs no claque." 

Many years afterwards, after my marriage to Mr. 
Glendinning, I met Miss Nethersole again in America. 
She had taken up social work very keenly, and was 
interested in all sorts of domestic problems. After 
talking together for some time, she seized my hand. 

" You are married ? " she asked. 

Myself and Others 133 

I nodded. 

" Then promise me one thing," she begged earnestly. 

" What is that ? " 

" That you will have a large family ! " 

But then most social pioneers are tremendous 
enthusiasts ! 

Those days at the old Adelphi were days of strenuous 
work, and the few holidays I was able to take were 
events to be marked with white stones. One such holiday 
was a somewhat eventful trip to the Canary Islands with 
my sister. My passion for the sea was responsible for 
our journey, but when we sailed from Liverpool in a 
blinding snowstorm, and were battened down and con- 
fined to our state-room throughout the crossing of the 
Bay of Biscay, my seafaring enthusiasm began to wane. 

One terrible day in the Bay I shall always remember 
in connection with a weird and grim incident. 

In the morning the ship's doctor, a young Irishman, 
whose first voyage it was, shot a seagull, and an old 
shellback of a sailor, possibly to frighten him, assumed 
the role of the ancient mariner, and told him that it 
was the worst of bad luck, and that the gulls were the 
souls of drowned sailors. 

All that day the storm grew worse, and in the after- 
noon, as the young doctor was visiting us in our deck 
state-room — and I am afraid his services were needed — 
a huge sea burst open the door and flooded the room. 
At that moment there was a wild cry for the doctor. 

Two sailors had been badly hurt by the sea, and, 
promising to return, the young Irishman rushed off to 
attend to them. Barely had he reached the deck when 
another huge sea buried the vessel, and when she rose, 
the water pouring from her decks, the doctor was 
missing, and another " swept overboard " tragedy was 

134 Myself and Others 

added to the long list of tragedies of the terrible Bay. 
More than once did I discuss the awful happening 
with the old sailor who had prophesied bad luck, and 
nothing on earth could convince him that the accident was 
not the direct consequence of the shooting of the gull. 

Three days later we arrived in brilliant sunshine at 
the lovely islands, to find that grave fears had been 
entertained about our safety and that our people had 
been frantically cabling to the British Consul, who 
came off to satisfy himself that we were alive and took 
us ashore to breakfast at Madeira. 

Then Portuguese guides, looking like toreadors in 
their black knee breeches, red sashes and white shirts, 
placed us in conveyances which resembled four-post 
bedsteads drawn by four oxen, and conducted us to the 
highest point in the island, from which the view was 
superb, and I remember that in the harbour at our feet, 
glistening like a jewel, lay Lord Brassey's beautiful 
yacht, " Sunbeam." The descent was made in a weird 
kind of basket sleigh on rollers, a most undignified form 
of conveyance, for the pace and " bumpiness " was 
terrific, and when the man next to me cried : " Hang 
on to me ! " I cast dignity to the winds, and gasping 
" I will ! " hung on like a combination of the leech, 
grim death, the income-tax collector, and all the other 
unpleasant things that are supposed to hang hardest. 

Our next port was Teneriff e, and there I tasted for the 
first time what I might humbly call European fame, for in 
the lounge of the hotel was an illustrated paper, and on 
the front page was a large picture of — Jessie Millward. 

From Teneriffe we sailed away to Santa Catalina, and 
I freely admit that Santa Catalina, lovely and semi- 
tropical as it was, gave me the horrors. We spent three 
weeks there, and when one morning I heard that there 

Myself and Others 135 

was a cargo ship in the bay willing to take passengers, 
although we were to be the only women on board we 
rushed down to book our passages. 

Lovely Santa Catalina was full of invalids — poor souls 
in the last stages of consumption — and the frequency 
with which one was told, if one enquired after a missing 
face : " Oh, he died yesterday evening and is to be 
buried this afternoon," made it hideously depressing 
for rudely healthy folk like my sister and myself. 

And so back to the Adelphi. 

My first long stay at the Adelphi came to an end in 
1889, when Mr. Terriss and I sailed for America, and for 
some months we toured the United States under the 
management of Augustin Daly and J. Miner, who owned 
Miner's Theatre, New York, playing in " Roger la 
Honte," the play which Terriss had bought in Paris in 
the way I have described. It was in America that I 
first saw that truly great actor Salvini. There has 
surely never been an Othello like his, but when I saw 
him the effect of the play as a whole was spoiled, to my 
poor mind, by this big, magnificent creature, with the 
tremendous voice, playing in volcanic Italian, while the 
rest of the company gave Shakespeare's lines in a very 
quiet English-American. 

Perhaps it was to prevent audiences who did not 
understand Italian from becoming weary of listening 
to a foreign tongue that an English-speaking company 
was engaged to support Salvini in America, but the 
effect was certainly quaint. 

There were innumerable stories told of his experiences 
in the States. 

A play in his repertoire that was a great favourite with 
the Americans was " The Gladiator," and when this 
play was put on in any large town with a handy Zoo 

136 Myself and Others 

some real lions were hired to place in the cages in the 
Coliseum scene, which was the big " set " of the play, 
but on " one-night stands " small boys, with cardboard 
lion-heads and yellow skins over their shoulders, were 
employed to sway gently about in mysterious gloom 
behind the bars. 

One night out West this scene offended a cowboy's 
sense of fair play, so, shouting that he wasn't going to 
sit there in comfort and watch one man set upon by 
half a dozen lions, he climbed over the footlights, a 
" gun " in each hand, to help the gladiator. 

Whereupon the " lions " promptly stood up on their 
hind legs, threw away their heads, and with frantic 
squeaks bolted for the wings. 

Another Salvini story that used to be told, as an 
object lesson to impresarios confronted with the difficult 
task of dealing with rival stars, was of the great 
tragedian's appearance in the same cast with Adelaide 
Ristori and Ernesto Rossi. Rossi and Salvini were of 
equal celebrity, and in composing the announcements 
the impresario was confronted with a terrible difficulty. 

Which name was to have the precedence ? 

Ristori, being a lady, naturally came first, but what 
of the two tragedians, stars of equal magnitude ? 

After a long and anxious consultation with a resourceful 

printer, the tactful impresario solved the difficulty thus : 

o I 

M S 

A S 

S O 

O R 

O S 

T A 

S L 

E V 

N I 

R N 

E I 


Myself and Others 137 

But perhaps the most striking Othello in the gallery of 
my memory — for a different reason — is that of a once- 
distinguished American actor whom I met at Denver, 
Colorado, on one of my visits with my husband, John 

I had seen him, and admired him tremendously, for he 
was a handsome, courteous gentleman, and a great actor, 
but he had one sad failing, which was known only too well 
to his audiences, who towards the end of his career used 
to watch and wait for the effect — not inspiration. 

One eventful night Othello made his entrance in the 
bedchamber scene, but his mind was not on smothering 
the unhappy Desdemona. Seeing the bed ready pre- 
pared, he hiccoughed an exclamation of delight, made 
straight for it, laid himself down, and with a grunt of 
relief settled himself comfortably for a sleep. Mean- 
while, the startled Desdemona, with a little shriek of 
dismay, had hurriedly climbed out on the other side of 
the bed, and slipped from the stage. 

Which, as someone said, was not exactly a Shake- 
spearean climax, if realistically domestic. 

And here let me tell an " Othello " experience of my 
very own. 

The only time I ever acted with the late Sir Herbert 
Tree was in a performance of the " handkerchief '^ 
scene at a benefit performance at the old Gaiety, in 
which Tree played lago, Terris Othello, and I was the 

My maid had gone up to the gallery to watch the 
scene, and found herself next to two old habitues of the 
Gaiety, who were utterly at sea as to the play, and 
wondered vaguely who were the presumptuous new- 
comers poaching on the sacred ground of NelHe Farren 
and Fred Leslie. 

138 Myself and Others 

My white dress and pearl embroidery bothered them a 
little, and they were entirely unable to place lago, but 
when Terriss entered as Othello the old man gave a 
sigh of relief and turned to the old woman. 

" It's all right, Mary," he said. " It won't be long 
now. The black man and the fairy queen are going to 
finish with a song and dance." 

As I have said, this was the only occasion on which 
I acted with Sir Herbert Tree, but it was impossible to 
meet him and to act with him even once without being 
impressed by that extraordinarily vivid personality 
which made Tree an outstanding figure in other worlds 
than that of the theatre. 

Irving and Tree, utterly dissimilar in so many ways, 
had in common an amazing vitality, a relentless energy, 
which went far to make their achievements possible. 

And, of course, about Tree a whole mythology of 
stories has arisen, and many of them are true. And, 
unlike so many stories of celebrities, many of them are 
amusing. I remember a luncheon party at the Waldorf 
in New York at which Mr. Oscar Asche kept the table 
in roars over a recital of Treeisms. 

The luncheon party included Lord Rosslyn, who under 
the nom de theatre of James Erskine was playing with 
me in " There's Many a Slip " at the Garrick Theatre, 
New Y(^k, and was at that time dividing his attentions 
between the stage and some infallible system of breaking 
the bank at Monte Carlo. Later, financed, I believe, by 
Sir Hiram Maxim, he did endeavour to break the bank, 
with the usual result. One explanation I heard of the 
failure of the infallible system was, to say the least of it, 

" You sec," said the man who was explaining it all, 
*' on the very last day there were two dashed great 

Plwto. by Elliott & Frv 


Myself and Others 139 

bluebottles in the rooms, and they kept jumping on the 
wheel and off again, apparently under the impression 
that it was a flies' merry-go-round, with nothing to pay, 
and that upset everybody's balance." 

Mr. Asche told a delightful little story of a rehearsal 
of " Julius Caesar," which dragged along from ii a.m. 
on Friday until 3 a.m. on Saturday. Knowing well 
what might happen if the supers were allowed to leave 
the theatre, the considerate actor-manager ordered in 
hundreds of sandwiches and a large barrel of Bass's 
beer, which was broached for the benefit of his humbler 
brethren. The humbler brethren thoroughly enjoyed the 
rest, and consequently, when the rehearsal was resumed, 
it was a distinctly beer-logged band of Romans who 
shambled on to the stage with flaming flambeaux, and 
indignant cries of : " O mos' nobl' Caesar ! O trait'rs ! 
Vill'ns ! O bloody day ! " in the scene before the 

Tree gazed at them hopelessly, but like a true philo- 
sopher made the best of it. 

" Splendid ! Fine ! A magnificent bit of realism ! " 
he exclaimed. " Your simulation of the intoxicating 
effects of Casca's foul blow on the citizens of Rome is 
Zolaesque — but please return your torches, all of 
you, to the property master before you set fire to my 
beautiful scenery ! " 

Two of the best of Mr. Asche's stories were of a 
rehearsal of Stephen Phillips' " Ulysses." 

A " vision " in the Hades scene was of Prometheus 
chained to his rock, with the vulture pecking at his vitals 
through all eternity. (The vulture was, of course, 
stuffed.) The actor who played the deep-thinking part 
of Prometheus was a conscientious youth with a slightly 
Hebraic accent. 

140 Myself and Others 

" Mister Dree ! Mister Dree ! " he called. " Am I 
to dake any nodice of the bird ? " 

" Yes, my lad," said Tree blandly ; " hiss back." 

Another gentleman who " thought " the same part 
found it a trifle strenuous at rehearsal. 

To a group of admiring friends. Tree was pointing 
out the beauty and ingenuity of the lighting and the 
triumph of the mechanism of the bird. Again and 
again the mechanical eflFect was repeated and admired, 
and all the while Prometheus lay supine and neglected 
on his rock. 

At last he could stand it no longer. Professional 
jealousy overcame him, and, raising his head : " I say, 

guv'nor, suppose the bird and me changes parts," 

suggested Prometheus. 

Another rehearsal story was of " Drake." Queen 
Elizabeth was to be entertained, and the table was 
spread with a cloth which, to put it mildly, was not 
fresh from the laundry. 

" Her Majesty is served," said the actor, at the 
proper cue. 

" D d badly," said Sir Herbert, surveying the 

dirty table-cloth. 

Yet another story of Sir Herbert was of an occasion 
on which he wished to engage a young and compara- 
tively untried actress, who was, however, the daughter 
of famous parents. 

" I want your beautiful daughter to play in my 
beautiful theatre," he announced, and the parents were 
delighted. Then the sordid question of terms arose. 

" Forty pounds a week ! " cried Tree, when he heard 
the parents' suggestion. " Good God ! I could get 
Little Tich for that ! " 

Myself and Others 141 

At times Tree dared even to repress the Press. 

On one of his American tours a reporter strolled into 
his dressing-room, and, without troubling to remove 
his hat, licked his pencil and prepared for copy. Tree 
fixed the offending hat with a cold blue eye. Then, 
picking up his own top-hat from his dressing-table, 
Marcus Antonius " covered " himself. 

" Let us talk as equals," said the voice of Tree, though 
the robes were those of Anthony. 

Another Tree story — the mine is inexhaustible, and 
before they are forgotten some intimate friend of the 
dead actor should collect a volume of Treeisms and sift 
the real from the apocryphal. 

At a supper in the Dome, conversation turned on a 
well-known writer and his physical resemblances to great 
ones of the past. 

" Yes," said Tree, in his deliberate, dreamy manner — 
no one in reality was more acute — " the upper part of his 
head is like Our Lord ; the lower part distinctly resembles 
Shakespeare — and the rest of him is just himself." 

Another point of resemblance between Tree and 
Irving was their loyalty and tenderness to friends, and 
one who saw it told me that never would he forget Tree's 
explosion of anger over a slight to poor Coleridge 
Taylor, who composed the music for more than one 
production at His Majesty's. 

The play, I fancy, was " Herod," and Coleridge 
Taylor, who was of a dark complexion, was refused 
admittance by some under-strapper at the stage door, 
who told him that it was no use waiting ; all the 
*' coloured gentlemen's " parts had been filled. Taylor, 
a sensitive soul, went away hurt, and when at last, after 
he had repeatedly asked for the composer, Tree was told 
what had happened, he exploded right royally. 

142 Myself and Others 

A Tree story he used to tell against himself was not 
one of the least amusing. 

On a provincial tour, on arrival at his hotel he gave 
the cabman half a crown. The man looked at the coin 
and then at Tree. 

" I recognise you, Sir 'Erbert," he said ingratiatingly, 
" The last time Sir 'Enry Irving was 'ere I drove 'im, 
too, and he gave me five shillings." 

Pause, during which Tree dreamily commenced to 
ascend the hotel steps. 

" An' you're a deal better actor than 'e was ! " — 
Tree still ascending steps, and cabby's voice rising to a 
hopeless roar — " in your own bloomin' estimation ! " 

But, after all, perhaps the best Tree story is that told 
by Mr. Arthur Bourchier. There had been some slight 
difference of opinion between the two actors, speedily 
composed, and one evening, while the little estrange- 
ment persisted, a terrific explosion shook the windows 
in the Haymarket. 

" What was that explosion ? " asked Tree of his 
dresser, when he left the stage. 

" A gas meter in Charing Cross Road, I believe, sir." 

" Oh," said Tree, " I thought it was the bursting of 
Bourchier's head." 

And as Mr. Bourchier himself tells the story I am 
sure that there is no harm in my repeating it. 

But to return to America and " Roger la Honte." 

During the tour of " Roger la Honte " Mr. Terriss and I 
were entertained at dinner by Judge Gildersleeve, who 
took us on to the Grand Opera House, then owned by 
George Gould, the husband of that beautiful and accom- 
plished member of the Daly Company, Edith Kingdom, 
and there we saw one of the most successful plays in the 
States, *'Paul Kauvar," of which our host owned the rights. 

Myself and Others 143 

Mr. Terriss was so impressed with the piece that he 
at once secured the EngHsh rights, and on our arrival 
in London arranged with Sir Augustus Harris to produce 
" Paul Kauvar " at Drury Lane. The play was pro- 
duced on May 12, 1890, and with its production 
commenced my association with the National 


Drury Lane. — I nearly break my neck. — Stage-struck flappers.— Arthur 
Collins. — Charles Warner. — -" Drink."— Ultra-realistic snow. — Harris's cure 
for nerves. — " Diamond Deane." — Tom Thome. — An awful line. — 
" Formosa." — Mrs. Langtry. — The responsibilities of jewellery. — An 
unrehearsed scene. — Julius Knight. — The rise of Augustus Harris. — How 
he secured Drury Lane. — Charles Harris and his gift of language. — The 
Baddeley Cake function. — Jimmy Davis's inspiration. — The Marlborough 
House " set " invited. — A triumphant evening. ^Civic dignitaries on the 
stage. — A title, a cake and a glass of punch. — A first-night muddle. — Sir 
George Alexander. 

I SIGNALIZED my first appearance on the stage of 
Drury Lane by nearly breaking my neck. Diane 
de Beaumont was a fine and most exciting part, and 
throughout the rehearsals Augustus Harris had taken 
every pains with me to bring out my best, but on the 
first night I needed no spur. 

At the end of the third act I had a big scene with 
Henry Neville, who played the part of my father, and 
after an intensely dramatic speech I had to rush off the 
stage, mounting a rostrum, from which I was to descend 
by some steps placed behind the scenes. Utterly 
carried away, I rushed to the rostrum, mounted it, and 
— instead of quietly descending the steps, which were 
hidden from the audience — I jumped straight into the 
arms of Augustus Harris, who was luckily standing in 
the wings and had the presence of mind to catch me. 

I do not know which of us received the bigger 


Myself and Others 146 

But so thoroughly wound up was I that at the time it 
affected me Httle, and when the curtain fell on the scene 
I remembered nothing until I found myself in my 
dressing-room sobbing hysterically in the arms of my 
sister Lil. I knew much of the success of the play 
depended on the close of that scene, and I felt 

" Not a sound ; not a single call ] " I gasped ; " I've 
damned the play ! " 

" Yes," she said, sternly, " you have damned the 
play ! You've just taken seven calls ! " 

It was fortunate for me, and for everybody else, that 
I had little to do in the last act, for my strength was 
spent, and I struggled through the rest of my part in a 
dream. It is nevertheless a curious fact that seven 
times at the close of the big scene had I appeared before 
the curtain, and when I reached my dressing-room a 
few moments afterwards my mind was an absolute 
blank. The shock of the fall into Gus Harris's arms 
was the probable explanation ! 

Within a week or two after the production Mr. 
Terriss was compelled to leave the cast to join Irving 
at the Lyceum, and his departure was, of course, a great 
loss to the piece. He had, however, been anxious for 
me to have a big chance for my first appearance at the 
Lane, and " Paul Kauvar " gave me that chance, for in 
spite of Mr. Terriss's departure the play had a successful 
run and did well in the provinces. And it was in con- 
sequence of my success in the piece that in 1890 I 
commenced a three years' engagement at Drury Lane 
under Augustus Harris, the autumn drama being " A 
Million of Money." 

During my engagement at the Lane my two sisters, 
Lilian and Florence, who were in their " flapperhood," 


146 Myself and Others 

became stage-struck, and, coming to me, announced 
their intention of going on the stage. If one of the 
Milhvard family could make a success, why not 
others ? 

It seemed eminently reasonable, so I set them each a 
recitation to learn, and told them that when they felt 
that they were word and action perfect I would listen 
to them and give a sisterly opinion. 

My sister Florence bore my decision that she had not 
the faintest spark of histrionic ability with admirable 
philosophy, and wisely determined to cultivate her very 
considerable literary talent, which she did, and before 
long became confidential secretary to that distinguished 
litterateur Mr. W. L. Courtney. 

My sister Lilian had, I thought, distinct dramatic 
talent, and I told her if she felt that she wished to go 
on the stage to set about procuring an engagement. 

" Why not try Augustus Harris ? " I suggested. 

Without saying any more to me, she and her girl chum, 
" Crede " Byron, the daughter of H. J. Byron, sallied 
down to Drury Lane one afternoon in search of Harris. 

How the two girls of seventeen managed to pass the 
stage door-keeper unchallenged was a mystery, but 
pass him they did, and after wandering down various 
passages they at last found themselves on the stage 
itself, where Harris, seated in his armchair, was con- 
ducting a big rehearsal. 

Calmly ignoring the excited whispers to " Get off ! " 
the two " flappers " marched down the centre of the 
stage to Harris, who sat speechless with amazement. 

" Who are you ? " he gasped, and stopped the 

" I'm Jessie Millward's sister," said Lil, " and this is 
my friend ' Crede ' Byron." 

Myself and Others 147 

" Oh," said Harris, choking, " and what do you want ? " 

" We want to go on the stage." 

" Engaged ! Go on with the crowd ! " 

And within a month my sister found herself under- 
studying Miss Compton — I had passed on to her Mr. 
Fernandez's advice to me : " Say you can do everything " 
— and being called upon to play one night she played 
the part admirably, rode a horse, never having ridden 
before, and calmly fainted in her dressing-room, over- 
come with success and excitement. 

It was during my engagement at the Lane that I first 
met Mr. Arthur Collins, who was then acting as assistant 
stage manager and scenic artist, and formed a friend- 
ship which I am proud to say still exists. 

Even in those days the Lane owed much to Mr. 
Collins, for brilliant as Harris was, in flashes, he had not, 
in my humble opinion, either the sustained brilliance 
or the business methods of his successor. 

My earliest recollection of Arthur Collins is in con- 
nection with the very trying part of Gervaise, which I 
played to the Coupeau of that great emotional actor, 
Charles Warner, in " Drink," the EngHsh version of 
Zola's " L'Assommoir." 

What a wonderful performance was Charles Warner's 
Coupeau in " Drink " ! 

The simulated delirium tremens was horrifying ; 
never had a stage drunkard been more reahstically 
played, and medical men asserted that all the ghastly 
symptoms were reproduced with absolute faithfulness. 

I shudder even now as I remember the vacant, staring 
eyes, the lolling, protruding tongue, the hideous clutching 
at the imaginary snakes, and the ghastly caressing of the 
last bottle of brandy before the horrible death. 

K 2 

148 Myself and Others 

Poor Warner, a wonderful emotional actor on the 
stage, in private life was a kindly, emotional man, and 
his death by his own hand came to few as a greater 
shock than it did to me, for barely a week previously 
he had visited me at my hotel in New York, and I had 
found him, to all appearances, as well and as cheerful 
as ever. 

My troubles in " Drink " began in the first act, in 
which her rival in the play nightly picked up a tub of 
soapy water and deluged poor Gervaise. 

Although my dress was supposed to be waterproof 
I got a ducking each night, and it did not comfort me 
in the least to be told that my French predecessor in the 
past had died of pneumonia. And it was no slight 
effort to play up to the terrific emotionalism of Warner ; 
so, what with one thing and another, I was generally in a 
state of physical exhaustion when the last act came and 
Gervaise was found dying in the snow. 

One night Arthur Collins told me with quiet pride 
that he had discovered something absolutely new in the 
way of stage snow, and that the storm that night would 
be the last word in realism. 

The snow began to fall : it certainly looked wonderful, 
and for realism was miles and miles ahead of the old torn 
scraps of paper. It clung to one's clothes like real 
snow, but unfortunately it did not melt. And as the 
snow began to fall I began to choke, and I choked all 
through that terrible storm. Perhaps I ought not to 
give the secret away, but I fancy the snow, for that 
night only, was composed of shavings from old white 
kid gloves. It was realistic no doubt, but I know that 
I for one was glad to see the old scraps of paper back 
again for the next performance. 

Some years afterwards the inventor of the snowstorm 

Myself and Others 149 

called on me in New York. He had met and fallen in 
love with a beautiful Californian girl and had asked 
her to marry him. It was all very sudden, and as he 
had to sail in a few days, and naturally wished to carry 
his bride home with him, he was anxious to be married 
at once, so he called on me for a " character " to hand 
to his prospective father-in-law and mother-in-law. 

But Arthur Collins has never stood in need of a 
" character " from anyone, and the happy couple 
sailed away at the end of the week. 

Mr. Arthur Collins, besides understanding the art of 
the theatre, is something more than a mere amateur in 
other arts. A painter of no small ability himself, he is 
a fine judge of pictures, and, with reason, prides himself 
on his collection. When, some years ago, he took a 
delightful place in Surrey, he entrusted the hanging 
of the canvases to a very local expert, who combined 
picture-framing with carpentry of a more modest kind. 

" Well," said Mr. Collins one day, dropping down 
suddenly from town, and surprising the expert at his 
labours, " what do you make of them ? " 

" Splendid, sir, splendid 1 " replied the expert. " I 
can truthfully say, sir, that I've never handled such a 
lovely lot of frames in my life." 

Perhaps even in art criticism the wisest cobbler 
always sticks to his well-known last. 

Under the reign of Augustus Harris things were done in 
princely if somewhat recklessly profuse style at the Lane, 
and it was under his directorship that the cutting of the 
Baddeley Cake blossomed into a function — a function at 
which the hospitality of the Drury Lane knight was 
much abused. 

Baddeley, the actor, who died in 1794, among other 
curious bequests, left ;^ioo Three per cent. Consolidated 

150 Myself and Others 

Bank Annuities to purchase " a Twelfth Cake with 
wine and punch, which the ladies and gentlemen of 
Drury Lane are requested to partake of every Twelfth 
Night in the Great Green Room." 

Even in the dear, dead ante bellum days beyond recall 
three pounds did not go very far in wine and punch, and 
the sum was generally handed over to the proprietor of 
the old Albion Tavern opposite the stage door, with the 
request that he would do the best he could, and make the 
three sovereigns go as far as possible. 

When Harris first became manager of the National 
Theatre, the cutting of the Baddeley Cake and the 
distribution of the liquid refreshment was a very modest 
affair. Some twenty or thirty people at the outside — 
mostly actors, members of the company and journalists 
— were present, the cake was cut in solemn silence, a few 
carpenters and stage hands stood round on the look-out 
for stray drinks, and after a brief ceremony conducted 
by Mr. Terriss, who was then the secretary of the Drury 
Lane fund, and old Mr. Fernandez, an adjournment 
was made to the green room, where there was a supper 
of cold salmon, cold chicken and champagne. 

But within a year or two of Augustus Harris assuming 
control, the Baddeley night blossomed into a great 
function, on almost the lines of one of the famous 
Lyceum receptions, and this is how it happened. 

A wonderful ballroom scene had been painted for the 
pantomime, and one New Year's Eve Harris stood on the 
stage watching it being set, bursting with pride at its 

" I v/ish I had thought of it before ! " he exclaimed to 
Jimmy Davis, later the Owen Hall of " Geisha " fame, 
who was at that time his guide, philosopher and friend. 

" Thought of what ? " asked Davis. 

Myself and Others 151 

" This is the very scene for a grand Baddcley affair — 
a big dance and a supper on the stage, with half the 
celebrities in London present." 

" Well, why not ? " 

" Too late," sighed Harris regretfully. " No time to 
get the invitations out." 

" Too late be hanged ! " cried Davis. " I'll get all 
the celebrities in London here. Whom do you 
want ? " 

" Well, first of all, send an invitation to every name 
that appears " Under the Clock " in the " Telegraph " ; 
then send to the dramatic critics, the editors and any 
other pressmen you can think of, then " 

" But my dear Gus," interrupted Davis. " What on 
earth is the good of asking a lot of mummers and Fleet 
Streeters who'd go anywhere for a free meal, and can't 
do you a particle of good ? " 

" Well, whom would you ask ? " 

"The Prince of Wales, for a start, and the Marlborough 
House set ; any duke who is in town ; all the judges ; as 
many members of the Jockey Club as you can get hold of 
— in fact, get the Blue Book and go right through it." 

The magnitude of the idea appealed to Harris, and 
Jimmy Davis had orders to go ahead, so, as a preliminary, 
he went in search of a friend at the Marlborough Club 
to ascertain if the Prince would be in town and without 
an engagement for January the sixth. Finding the 
engagement uncertain, an invitation was sent off that 
night through a quarter which would at any rate ensure 
that it received attention. Horace Lennard was asked 
to act as an informal secretary, and drew up a card of 
invitation which was handed over to a printer at nine 
o'clock the next morning, and by the next evening 
somewhere about two thousand invitations had been 

152 Myself and Others 

sent off by an improvised staff of clerks. Acceptances 
began to pour in, and a number of well-known people 
were approached with a view to their being stewards. 
In addition, with his usual generosity, Harris asked 
all his stage hands and " extra " people to bring their 
wives and families, and arranged that they, with the 
supers and ballet, were to be congregated in the stalls 
and would each receive a slice of the real Baddeley Cake 
and a glass of punch. 

Then on the morning of Twelfth Day it dawned on 
someone that at the very least six or seven hundred 
people were likely to turn up, and all that had been 
arranged for in the way of refreshment was the big cake 
annually sent over from the Albion ! 

At that time Whiteley was re-decorating the foyer of 
the theatre, and Whiteley's was a name to conjure with. 
So off in a hansom to Westbourne Grove tore the harassed 
secretary, and found the big firm quite ready to provide 
a supper for six hundred at midnight. The cake 
problem was solved at Buszards, and a liqueur firm in 
Holborn undertook to provide the ingredients for 
the punch. 

A Drury Lane fishmonger lent a monster tub, which 
was placed in the little room where treasury was paid 
in those days, and with a supply of borage, ice, castor 
sugar and the indispensable liquids, a crowd of volunteers 
set to work to brew the historic punch. 

Whiteley's did the work well. 

At the fall of the curtain the orchestra played for 
less than half an hour, and in that time the ballroom 
scene was set, and the tables laid. On the stroke of 
midnight Mr. Fernandez cut the Albion cake and made 
his speech, and Harris responded from the dress circle. 
The cheering from the stalls, where the punch had been 

Myself and Others 153 

supplied in cans, was tremendous, and everyone agreed 
that there had never been such a Baddeley affair. 

After two hours of supper, Kate Vaughan led off the 
first quadrille with a young peer who afterwards became 
a famous parliamentarian, and Mrs. Bernard Beere was 
one of the belles of the evening. At six in the morning 
coffee was served. The Prince of Wales was not 
present, but Marlborough House was represented, and 
the night was a brilliant success and a wonderful 

The next year the function was developed still further. 

The workmen and their wives no longer filled the 
stalls, but a mob of civic dignitaries flitted across the 
scene. The pantomime was " Dick Whittington." So 
it was only appropriate that the Lord Mayor and 
Sheriffs should be the guests of the evening. It was on 
this occasion that Augustus Harris first hobnobbed with 
Gog and Magog, the magnates of the Mansion House 
and the grandees of the Guildhall, and even then his 
soul yearned for civic honours. He enrolled himself as 
a Loriner, and determined to become a freeman of the 
city. These ambitions led to his election as Sheriff, and 
it was while acting as Sheriff that he became " Sir 

So, in a sense, a title sprang from a cake and a glass 
of punch. 

Harris had not the methodical mind and powers of 
administration possessed by Mr. Arthur Collins, and some- 
times by leaving things, in the hope that they would be 
*' all right on the night," he used to get himself into 
hopeless muddles. Nobody who saw it will ever forget 
the first night of his pantomime " Sinbad the Sailor." 

Several of the scenes had actually never been set, and 
some of the mechanical effects had never been tried. 

154 Myself and Others 

So, after the big bird which was to carry off Sinbad 
refused to work, and the great whale lay flabbily 
immovable on the stage, Harris had to come forward in 
his dress suit and famous Inverness overcoat to ask the 
indulgence of the audience. 

" Ladies and gentlemen," he pleaded, for the gallery 
was getting restive, " this is the heaviest pantomime 
I've ever produced " 

" By it is, Gus ! " shouted an impatient " god." 

And then Charles Lauri, who played the part of a 
poodle, frisked about in the canvas waves to draw 
attention from the carpenters who were dissecting the 
great whale, and as soon as there was room a front 
cloth was dropped, so that the comedians, Arthur 
Roberts, Jimmy Fawn, Harry Nicholls and Herbert 
Campbell, could " gag " while the leviathan was being 
removed piecemeal behind. 

Incidents such as these would have been impossible 
under the Collins regime. 

Somewhere about this time Gus Moore became a sort of 
" literary adviser " to Augustus Harris, his chief duty, 
I believe, consisting in the editing and revising of the 
conventional newspaper advertisements. But one Boxing 
Day the Lane advertisement in the first column of the 
middle page of the " Daily Telegraph " began : 

" Drury Lane Theatre Royal. The Two Gus's — 
Gus Harris and Gus Moore." 

And it was always said that abreakfastlcssDruriolanus 
made the journey from Portland Place toCatherine Street, 
W.C., in the record time of three and a half minutes ! 

Harris was wildly generous and kindness itself, but 
his methods were, to say the least of it, impetuous. 

It was some little time before I began to feel that I 
could settle at Drury Lane : the theatre seemed so huge 


Myself and Others 155 

and strange. The noise and hurly-burly, after the 
almost cathedral-like silence behind the scenes at the 
Lyceum, for long dazed and bewildered me, and one fine 
day, in a moment of nerves, I made up my mind that 
I simply could not go on in the strange atmosphere, and 
the climax was reached when I was told by Fred Latham 
that when the season finished in a few weeks I was 
expected to go on tour. 

Much against the advice of Mr. Terriss I sought out 
Harris in his ofhce. 

" What is the matter ? " he asked, looking up from 
his desk. 

" I've come to resign. I don't want to go on tour,'* 
I blurted. 

I accept no resignations," said Harris, rising. 
You're engaged to me for three years, and for three 
years you stay here. But you needn't go on tour unless 
you like. However, there's one thing you must do." 
" And what is that ? " I asked despairingly. 
" You must come out to lunch at once." 
And so Harris, Latham, Terriss and I went out to 
lunch at the old Albion, and on reflection I became glad 
that my resignation had not been accepted. 

During my first year at the Lane I was twice " lent " 
by Harris to play parts in other theatres, once to play 
Mercedes in " Monte Cristo " with the American actor 
Henry Lee, at the old Avenue Theatre, now the Play- 
house, and again to create the part of Diamond Deane 
in the play of that name by an American author, Henry 
van Dam. 

" Diamond Deane " was produced at the Vaudeville 
Theatre, and from the first I felt that the piece was a 
failure. It was the only real failure I have ever been 
connected with, and the sensation was not pleasant. 

156 Myself and Others 

The atmosphere got colder and colder : a wall of ice 
seemed to be erected between stage and audience, and 
one grew to dread in advance lines and situations of 
which one had never been too confident. But we 
struggled through to the last act without a contre- 
temps, and then poor Tom Thorne, who played the part 
of a clergyman, had an interminable speech in which he 
tried to reform Diamond Deane, the girl thief. 

The house got restless : it seemed as though the 
speech would never end, but Thorne stuck to it bravely. 
At last : 

" Stop ! You've said enough ! " gasped the penitent 
girl thief. 

" She's right, Tom ! " bawled a " god." 

And that was the end of " Diamond Deane." 

I returned to Drury Lane to play in a revival of 
^' Formosa," by Dion Boucicault. Mrs. Langtry had 
been engaged to play the part of Formosa, and I was 
to play the juvenile, but during the rehearsals Harris 
gave the leading part to me. Formosa was a lady 
with a hectic past, and when the play was first produced 
created a mild sensation, though nowadays I rather fear 
that she would be looked upon as a very milk-and-watery 
" sinner." The girl who succeeded me in my part of 
the juvenile subsequently became Mrs. J. M. Barrie. 

I remember " Formosa '' chiefly for a horrible little 
scare the possession of some borrowed jewellery gave 
me on the first night. 

As I have said, Formosa was a lady with a hectic 
past, and as, apparently, every lady possessor of a hectic 
past is also the possessor of trophies in the shape of 
elaborate jewellery, some valuable pieces had been 
borrowed from a Bond Street firm to add realism to the 
part. When I reached my dressing-room after the big 

Myself and Others 157 

confrontation scene, I discovered to my horror that I 
had left the jewels on the stage wrapped up in my 
handkerchief. My maid tore down and found them, and 
with a sigh of relief I put them in a cupboard in my 
dressing-room. When at last the curtain fell on all the 
excitement of a first night, my maid and I drove off home, 
which I had no sooner reached than I suddenly "remem- 
bered I had forgotten " those wretched jewels for the 
second time, and that the cupboard had no lock. We 
rushed back to the theatre, to find it closed, and at 
eight o'clock the next morning my faithful maid went 
down, found the stones and returned them to the 
jewellers in Bond Street with my blessing. 

I thought then that if an adventuress in real life went 
through one-tenth of the anxiety and stress over her 
ill-gotten gains that I had undergone the game could 
hardly be worth the candle. 

An unrehearsed scene at the Lyceum was an event of 
sufficient rarity to be spoken of with bated breath, and 
to be talked of for months afterwards as an " event " in 
Lyceum history — never was there a greater contrast than 
that between the meticulous rehearsing of the Irving 
method and the happy-go-lucky system of Harris — but at 
the Lane of those days there were many, and in " The 
Prodigal Daughter " I was myself responsible for an un- 
expected effect which fortunately was entirely successful. 

Once more I was associated with my brother's old 
schoolmaster, Henry Pettitt, who was part author of 
the play, and he afterwards told me that from the first 
he had been unhappy about the effect in the second act. 

The prodigal daughter had eloped to Paris with her 
young man, and Harris had provided an elaborate 
scene representing the courtyard of the Grand Hotel. 
No expense had been spared — and the Drury Lane 

158 Myself and Others 

knight was extremely lavish — the fountains, the 
coloured lights, the " atmosphere " left nothing to be 
desired, but, in theatre language, at rehearsal after 
rehearsal the big scene in which the girl learnt that her 
lover did not intend to marry her went for nothing. 
And in a sense I felt responsible, for the part of the 
young man was most excellently played by Julius 
Knight, whom I had been instrumental in engaging. 

When the play was being cast, Harris had consulted 
me as to whom he should procure for the part, and I had 
suggested Harry Irving. But Harry Irving was engaged, 
and when my sister introduced me to a young actor, 
then entirely unknown in London, named Julius Knight, 
I thought him ideal for the part. So he rehearsed on 
approval, and was promptly engaged. But, do what 
we would, there was something in that courtyard scene 
which never seemed to quite " get there." Again and 
again did Mr. Knight and I rehearse it, but Pettitt still 
wore a worried look and was unable to suggest anything, 
so all we could do was to hope for the best. 

On the first night of the play, so wound up was I with 
nervous tension and over-anxiety that when I, as the 
girl, learnt that my lover did not propose to marry me, 
I was completely carried away and struck Mr. Knight 
a violent blow on the chest. 

Never shall I forget the poor man's astonished face as 
he staggered back, nor my own horror when I realized 
what I had done, but there was no time to gasp an 
apology. Before we could recover ourselves the curtain 
was down to roars of applause, and we found ourselves 
taking " call " after " call " in a scene of wild excite- 
ment, with Harris dancing about triumphantly in 
the wings. 

No sooner had I reached my dressing-room than 

Myself and Others 159 

Pettitt rushed in, and, instead of reprimanding me, 
literally threw his arms round me. 

" Why in heaven's name didn't you do that at 
rehearsal ? " he demanded wildly. 

" Because I never thought of it," I stammered, " and 
I don't know what on earth made me do it to-night ! " 

" Child," he cried," it makes the act, and / never thought 
of it ! The anxiety, the sleepless nights I've had over 
that wretched ' curtain,' and I never thought of it ! " 

And again he hugged me in his delight. 

After his success in "The Prodigal Daughter" Mr. 
Knight went to Australia,where he became a great favour- 
ite and won a well-deserved reputation as a very fine actor. 

But for one horrible second I am sure he must have 
thought that I had suddenly gone mad. 

Augustus Harris was an extraordinary personality, 
and when he died, still a young man, he had attained a 
unique position in the worlds of theatre and opera. 

He inherited from his father his instinct as a stage 
manager (but, I fancy, very little else), and his first 
engagement was on tour with Barry Sullivan at a pound 
a week. When on tour he got to hear that the stage 
manager of Mapleson's Opera Company — which was 
playing at another theatre in the same town — had 
suddenly left, promptly applied for the post, and was 
told to show his ability by setting the scenes for " Rigo- 
letto," which was to be played that night. He set the 
scenes and obtained the post. 

Coming to London, he played with Sir Charles 
Wyndham in " Pink Dominoes " — a farce which was 
at the time looked upon as the last word in riskiness, 
but which would now, I fear, be regarded as very tame 
indeed — and then joined Edgar Bruce at the Royalty, 
where he became stage manager and part author of 

160 Myself and Others 

" Venus," a burlesque put on as an after-piece to George 
R. Sims' " Crutch and Toothpick." 

A good story used to be told of his persistence in 
securing his engagement at the Royalty. 

Calling on Bruce one day : " Do you want a stage 
manager ? " asked Harris. 

" No," replied Bruce. " I'm my own stage manager." 

" Do you want an acting manager ? " 

" No ; I'm my own acting manager." 

" Do you want a treasurer ? " 

" No ; I'm mv own treasurer." 

" Do you want an actor ? " 

" No, I don't. For heaven's sake, Gus, go away ! 
Can't you see I'm so busy that I don't know where to 
turn ? " 

" Then you want help ; I'll stay and help you. What 
can I do ? " 

" There are a lot of show-girls waiting on the stage 
for me. I've got to pick a chorus for ' Venus.' " 

" Right you are, I know all the best show-girls. I'll 
go and pick your chorus for you." 

Which he did, and, once inside the theatre, was soon 
part author and stage manager, and at the end of the 
Royalty season was a bloated capitalist to the extent 
of one hundred pounds. 

Then came the news that Chatterton had failed and 
that Drury Lane was to let. 

With sublime audacity Harris sent in his application 
for the lease, and then looked round for that useful 
person, a partner with capital. He secured a promise, 
but when the critical moment of paying one thousand 
pounds deposit arrived not a penny was forthcoming. 

One day was left in which to find the money. 

Harris's mother, who ran a theatrical costumier's 

Myself and Others 161 

business in Wellington Street under the name of 
" Madame Auguste," gave her name to a bill of five hun- 
dred pounds on condition that she supplied the dresses, 
and Dodsworth, the refreshment contractor, put up two 
hundred pounds in cash, and there matters threatened 
to end, until his sister, Nellie Harris, who was to be his 
wardrobe mistress, introduced him to Frank Neck, a 
wealthy timber merchant with a leaning for theatrical 
speculation, who put up the money in the nick of 

(Nellie Harris afterwards married Horace Sedger, who 
died not very long ago.) 

When the partnership with Neck came to an end the 
financier received ten thousand pounds, so the specula- 
tion was not a bad one. 

Although I personally never came across him, 
Augustus Harris's brother, Charles Harris, had always 
the reputation of being the better producer of the two. 
Someone once described Gus as the idealist and Charles 
as the realist, and if half the stories that used to be told 
were true, " Charlie " Harris was a realist in more ways 
than one. 

It was said of him that he always got his way by 
strong will, strong persistence, and, above all, strong 

But even he was nonplussed once, when rehearsing a 
procession of " vegetables " for the pantomime. Eight 
children dressed as carrots were supposed to march 
behind eight children dressed as turnips, and, at a signal, 
to wheel in procession behind eight vegetable marrows 

Again and again one diminutive carrot went wrong 
and Charles Harris exploded. 

"You blithering little idiot!" he bawled. "That's 
what you are, a blithering little idiot ! For the last 

162 Myself and Others 

time, will you or will you not keep with the carrots ? 
Try again ! " 

But the same thing happened again, and the unhappy 
infant was in a worse muddle than ever. 

" Come here ! " shouted Harris angrily, and the poor 
little carrot stepped nervously up to him. " Why the 
this-that-and-the-other are you with the wholly un- 
mentionable turnips ? You're a carrot, aren't you ? " 

" N-no, sir," blubbered the child. 

*' Then what in heaven's name are you ? " 

" A b-b-blithering little idiot, sir ! " 
- Only I am afraid that the adjective was not 
" blithering." 

Charles Harris had his own methods of putting " life " 
into a performance, and a good example of those methods 
was shown in the production by Sir Augustus of an 
opera in which there was a scene of intense excitement 
during a supposed eruption of Vesuvius. < 

The longer the rehearsal proceeded the greater became 
the indifference with which the " crowd " of operatic 
supers regarded the phenomenon, and anyone but 
Charles Harris would have given up the task of inspiring 
the mob with life in despair. 

On the night of the production, to the immense 
surprise of Gus, the panic-stricken mob was all that 
could be desired ; it was essentially lively ; its members 
darted about in wonderfully simulated dismay, uttering 
frenzied shrieks, displaying every possible form of 
anxiety, not to say discomfort. 

And then it was observed that a monk, with a cowl 
over his face, was moving about among the Neapolitans, 
and wherever he moved the ladies in his immediate 
vicinity all suddenly showed signs of the greatest 

Myself and Others 163 

The monk was Charles Harris, the stage manager, and 
a smart pinch on the softest portion of any female frame 
that happened to be near him was his method of impart- 
ing liveliness to the proceedings, and a proper sense of 
the importance of such a phenomenon as the eruption 
of Vesuvius. 

But at times " Charlie " Harris was capable of the 
suaviter in mo do of a brand peculiarly his own. 

In the old Drury Lane Theatre the pillars were a 
nuisance from the point of view of the unfortunate 
member of the audience who found himself seated 
immediately behind one of them, and on one occasion 
a gentleman (who had a lady with him) objected to his 
seats, as an ornamental column practically obscured the 
view of the stage. Charles Harris appeared, took the 
tickets from the objector, sent to the box office for a 
guinea and returned the money. 

" I hope you don't consider me unreasonable," 
temporized the patron, surprised at his easy victory. 
" But really, those pillars, you know — er — er — are " 

" Yes," chimed in the lady, " they really are, you 

know " 

> " Quite right, madam, quite right," agreed Charles 

Harris warmly. " They're a perfect nuisance, 

as you say. But you see, poor old Gus has to have 'em 
to prop up the house." 

Whereupon the couple left swiftly, never even stop- 
ping to say a word until they reached the bottom of 
Catherine Street. 

A rough diamond was Charles Harris, but a great 
stage manager. 

" The Prodigal Daughter " was a great success, and 
when it was decided to send it to America I was anxious 
to play my original part at the Broadway Theatre, New 

L 2 

164 Myself and Others 

York, but this time Irving, long-suffering as he was, at 
last put his foot down, and told me that he wanted me. 
The three years I spent at Drury Lane were happy 
years, and were a valuable experience, with only one 
regret. Almost immediately after I had signed my 
contract with Harris, George Alexander came to me, 
and asked me to join him at the St. James' Theatre, 
which he had just opened after his big success in 
*' Doctor Bill," but it was too late, and I lost the chance 
of an artistic association with a great actor and a great 


Back to the Lyceum. — The servant question. — My maid Lottie. — A 
plea for life. — Child's play. — " I know my place." — An attempt at 
consolation. — A cab accident and " dignity." — " The Lyons Mail." — A 
wretched part. — Ellen Terry's question. — Irving's kindness. — Beerbohm 
Tree and a benefit performance. — My father's death. — An impersonation 
of Ada Rehan. — A recital tour with Terriss. — Value for money. — A trip 
to Monte Carlo. — Learning the game. — Mr. Alphonse de Rothschild. — The 
benevolent croupier. — A new experience. — Terriss on the telephone. — 
" Becket." — A letter from Sir Squire Bancroft. — Rehearsals for the 
American tour. — Journey to San Francisco. — Terriss takes charge. — 
Irving's anxiety. — The effect of surroundings. — A triumphal progress. — 
Seymour Hicks and Ellahne Terriss. — The stern parent. — Margaret 
in " Faust." — The happiest day of my life. 

THE year 1892 was yet another turning-point in my 
life, for in 1892 Irving insisted on my return to 
the Lyceum — and in 1892 I solved the servant 
question for over twenty years. 

I do not for one moment pose as being singular in 
my likes and dislikes, but I admit to being profoundly 
affected by the people with whom I am brought in daily 
contact ; there are such things as natural antipathies — 
utterly unreasonable, no doubt, and often perfectly 
incomprehensible — and, fortunately, there are also 
people in the world, in every station of life, whose 
natures are essentially sympathetic. 

And in such a profession as mine the constant presence 
of a sympathetic and soothing personality is a boon 
incalculable. Such a personality was my faithful friend 



166 Myself and Others 

and maid, Lottie, who first came to me during my 
season at the Lyceum and remained "with me for over 
twenty years — until, in fact, she was compelled to choose 
between a husband and me. Rightly, the husband won, 
and Lottie deser\-ed her happiness, while the husband 
was a luck\' man. 

My first sight of Lottie was when I was told that " a 
person has called about the place," and, entering the 
drawing-room of my flat, I found a thin little black- 
haired woman, ghastly pale, leaning against a chair, 
breathing heavilv and with difficult^-. 

I've come about the place," she panted. 

But you look as if you were going to faint ! " I 
cried in alarm. 

" Oh no, I'm not. It's them stairs, and I'm just out 
of hospital." By this time the poor thing had recovered 
her breath, and was looking me over with calmly 
reflective eyes. Then she looked round her. 

" Yes," she said, " I think the place will suit me. 
You'll want my references." 

And she gave me them — to a house in Park Lane, 
kept by an ex-butler and his wife, where she had for 
long waited on Mrs. Jerome, the mother of the late 
Lady Randolph Churchill. 

So Lotrie came to me, and for over twentv vears from 
the time of her coming she devoted her life to me, and 
in the shadow through which I was soon to pass I had 
no firmer stav and comfort than that dark-haired, 
resolute little woman. 

I am afraid her first experience of her new mistress 
was rather tr\-ing, but Lottie rose to any and ever>- 
occasion, and she accepted the little shock which greeted 
her on hej very first day in her new place with the 

Myself and Others 167 

calm philosophy which rarely, it ever, deserted her in 
all the yeai^ to come. 

At this time I had a flat in Shaftesbury- Avenue, on 
the top floor, with a turret looking over the Trocadero, 
and durin? mv eneaeement at the Lvceum Mr. Terriss 
was in the habit of calling to rehearse with me the new 
parts in which I was to appear. 

On the morning of Lottie's arrival we were r^earsing 
the scene from ** Richelieu " in which Julie de Mortemar 
pleads with the Cardinal for the life of De Mauprat. 

As Julie, in a modem walking dress, I was kneeling 
at the feet of Richelieu — Irving's part being represented 
by Mr. Terriss in tweeds — and was sobbing the lines : 
" Spare this man's life ! What is one man's life to you ? 
To me, 'tis earth, 'tis heaven ! Tis everything I — Oh 
spare his life ! " when the door opened. 

" Luncheon is served, miss," announced the new 
maid, looking at us curiously. 

" Fimny sort of place I've tumbled into," she said to 
herself, and made for the kitchen. 

" You've been here longer than me, and I think \ou 
ought to be told," slie announced to the cook, " there's 
a strange man in the drawing-room with Miss Millward, 
and she's on her knees to him asking him to save some 
man's life, and, by the look of him, I don't think he's 
going to do it. And she's sa\-ing oru man's life's nothing 
to him ! " 

After ser\*ing lunch she returned to the kitchen 
sli^htlv reassured. 

" I tliink he'll do it," she connded to the cook, *' they're 
chatting quite friendly now." 

Lottie's knowledge of the world of the theatre at that 
time was precisely nil, and it took me quite a long time 
after Terriss had left to e^lain to her exactly why I 


168 Myself and Others 

was on my knees to a stranger in my drawing-room at 
that hour in the morning, making such startling appeals 
to the stranger's better feelings. 

It was a great surprise to Lottie to find that her new 
mistress was an actress. Like my gardener Haddon, 
she was calmly indifferent to the world of the theatre ; 
she grew to tolerate it, but in her heart of hearts she 
never entirely approved of it. 

And her attitude towards the different parts I played 
was entirely her own. 

Shortly after I had made a big success in America in 
that brilliant comedy, " Lord and Lady Algy," a visitor 
to my dressing-room, after saying pretty things to me, 
turned to Lottie, 

" You must be very proud of your lady," she 

Lottie looked up from folding some dresses. 

" What for, ma'am ? " she asked coldly. 

" For her great success in this piece." 

" This piece, indeed ! " sniffed Lottie, with memories 
of strenuous Adelphi and Drury Lane parts crowding 
her mind, parts which were so physically exhausting 
that it was her nightly task to towel, massage and sponge 
a panting, perspiring, and exhausted mistress with 
eau de cologne ; " this piece, indeed ! Child's play, 
ma'am ; mere child's play ! " 

During all the years she was with me, Lottie's chief 
cares were for my health, that I should be nicely dressed, 
and, above all, that I should be " dignified," as she put 
it, and Lottie's ideas on the subject of " dignity " were 
rigid in the extreme. 

Shopping one hot afternoon n New York, after an 
interminable wait in some " store " : " For goodness' 
sake, Lottie, sit down," I begged her. 

Myself and Others 169 

" Thank you, Miss Jessie," she replied coldly, " / 
know my place." 

And never shall I forget when, at one rehearsal, after 
everything possible seemed to have gone wrong, and I 
had displeased myself in every possible way, on my 
return to my dressing-room I flung myself in a chair 
and uttered a very small and not really very naughty 

" Damn ! " I exclaimed, with all my heart and soul. 

" Miss Jessie," said Lottie, icily, " if you say that 
word again I shall have to get a piece of soap and wash 
your mouth out ! " 

But if Lottie could be harsh as the sternest nurse to 
the naughtiest child if occasion required, she could also 
be very soothing, in her own way. 

On another evening, thoroughly dissatisfied with my 
dress and " make-up " : 

" Oh, Lottie," I cried in despair, " I wish I were 
really beautiful ! " 

" Never mind, Miss Jessie," she replied, soothingly, 
glancing at the array of " make-up " implements on the 
dressing-table. " You do try your best. You use 
everything, and no one can do more ! " 

At times, I fear, I was a big responsibility to Lottie, 
and her anxiety over my " dignity " was touching. 

While I was playing in New York we had a nasty 
cab accident on the way to the theatre, in which, 
although both of us escaped without a scratch, the poor 
coachman was badly hurt. It had been entirely the 
fault of a tram driver, and when the coachman was at 
last released from hospital I offered to appear as a 
witness for him in his action against the tram company. 

The company was a powerful " trust," and was 
represented by a very clever lawyer, who attempted to 

170 Myself and Others 

laugh the case out of court. As I Hstened to his brutally- 
humorous cross-examination of the injured man, my 
indignation rose slowly to boiling point. 

" Wait until I get into the witness box ! " I hissed 
to Lottie. *' I'll let that beast of a man know exactly 
what I think of him ! " 

On went the brutal cross-examination ; and more 
and more nervous did the poor injured man in the box 
get, more and more did my blood boil, and more and 
more anxious did Lottie become. 

At last my name was called. 

I sprang to my feet, but Lottie grabbed my dress. 

" Miss Jessie ! " she whispered, as I struggled to tear 
myself loose. " Miss Jessie ! I want to speak to you ! " 

" What is it ? " 

" For goodness' sake, Miss Jessie, let them think 
you're a lady, even if you're not ! " 

But whatever they thought, the poor man got his 
well deserved damages. 

One of the very few parts I have played which I 
thoroughly detested was that of Jeanette — the wife of 
Dubosc, in " The Lyons Mail " — and I was by no means 
happy when Irving told me that he wished me to play 
it instead of my former part of the young girl Julie, 
Miss Terry having also a cordial dislike for Jeanette. 

I struggled through somehow or other, loathing my 
own performance and feeling very unhappy about it, 
and I did not feel any happier when next day Miss Terry 
asked me at rehearsal : " And how do you like that 
wretched part ? " 

" Not at all," I told her promptly. " I feel horribly 
uncomfortable in it." 

" So I rather gathered," she laughed, " for Henry and 

Myself and Others 171 

I were talking about your performance and he seemed 
tremendously amused with it. He made me roar ! " 

I am sure Ellen Terry did not mean to be unkind, but 
to me it seemed the very last straw, and I must have 
shown my perturbation, for no sooner had she left 
me than Irving, who had been standing up the stage 
and had evidently noticed our conversation, came to me. 

" What was Miss Terry saying to you ? " he asked, 

" She — she told me that you had roared at my per- 
formance of Jeanette ! " I stammered, on the verge of 

His eyes twinkled. 

" My dear," he said, tapping my arm reassuringly, 
" you pleased me — and that is enough." 

No more loyal creature ever breathed than Henry 

Dominating, apparently cynical, as his personality 
may have seemed, there was an ineffably tender side to 
his nature, a certain shy sensitiveness which he only 
rarely revealed. During the whole of the matinee one 
Saturday afernoon I thought Irving was particularly 
tender and kind to me ; time and again he came to me 
as I stood waiting in the wings, looking at me half- 
curiously, half-sadly, but only murmuring common- 
places. When I reached my flat after the performance 
my sister was waiting for me. 

" Father is dead ! " I cried. " Did he die at eleven 
last night ? " 

She nodded. 

At that hour I had been talking of my father with my 
maid Lottie. I had seen him the day before, when he 
had seemed as usual, but there was ever the fear of 
another and a fatal stroke, and that night I had felt 

172 Myself and Others 

quite suddenly that I ought to cable my brothers in 
New York. 

I was not in the evening bill, and on his arrival at 
the theatre Terriss went to Irving. 

" Charlie Millward is dead," he said. 

" I knew it this morning," replied Irving, " and I 
admired Jessie Millward for her fortitude more than I 
can say. I tried hard several times to tell her how 
much I sympathised with her, but somehow I could 
not screw myself up to do it." 

" She didn't know," Terriss told him ; " we all tried 
to keep it from her until after the matinee.''^ 

For the following Tuesday a big benefit had been 
arranged by Beerbohm Tree and Terriss at the Hay- 
market for St. Mary's Hospital, and Terriss and I were 
announced to appear in a scene from " The Taming of 
the Shrew." 

In the morning Tree came to Terriss. 

" I suppose Miss Millward won't appear ? " he said. 
" Yes, she says she will appear," replied Terriss, " but 
only on condition that no one speaks to her." 

Was it some curious comprehension of my nature 
that had restrained Irving that afternoon ? 

So I played Katharine, and some of the critics said 
that, intentionally or not, I had given a splendid imper- 
sonation of Ada Rehan in the part. The impersonation 
was deliberate. I had never, and have never since, 
seen a more superb performance of Katharine than 
that of Ada Rehan ; to me it has always been the 
*' last word " ; there has been nothing more to say or 
do ; withherthecharacterof Shakespeare's shrew seemed 
painted for all time, and I even adopted the red velvet 
dress she wore. I could never conceive of another reading 
or a more masterly performance than Ada Rehan's. 

Myself and Others 173 

And it was the matron of the drama who once said 
to me complacently : " My dear, actresses only come 
to the theatre to pick my brains," ever since which I 
have pleaded guilty to picking up anything, anywhere, 
from anybody, which seemed artistically worthy of 
admiration and study. 

So when on a costume recital tour which Mr. Terriss 
and I took about this time he offered to teach me 
Adelaide Neilson's rendering of Juliet — to whom he had 
played Romeo — I was properly grateful, for surely hers 
was the most nearly perfect Juliet in living memory. 

That costume recital tour was great fun. 

I remember we played the balcony scene from " Romeo 
and Juliet," the cottage scene from " The Lady of 
Lyons," a scene from " The Hunchback," the quarrel 
scene from " The Taming of the Shrew," and, in addition, 
Mr. Terriss recited " Fra Giacomo," and I, standing 
before a cloth representing a country cottage, and 
wearing the traditional white muslin and blue sash, 
gave the " boiled-down " version of " The May Queen." 
Shades of Tennyson ! 

And as if that were not enough, there were recitations 
of " The Faithful Soul," and " The Charge of the Light 
Brigade," to say nothing of some clever performances 
at the piano, a la George Grossmith senior, by Mr. 
Pritchard, which gave us time to change. 

Our audiences certainly received value for money, and 
the tour was very profitable. We gave one performance 
in a different town each night, and as our manager, 
Charles Abud, arranged for very short journeys, the 
strain was not really so great. 

But at one town — Buxton, I think — we made a fatal 

The house was sold out, and the manager asked us to 

174 Myself and Others 

stay on and play a matinee the next afternoon. It 
was a foolish move, as there was no time to advertise 
the performance, but Terriss consented. 

While Terriss was " making up " an old friend came 
round and asked if he might see the show. 

" I don't want a seat, old man," he said. " I know 
you were crowded out last night. Let me stand any- 
where, and then come and have a little dinner 
with me." 

*' My dear old man," said Terriss, " you can have as 
many seats as ever you like. In fact, you can have the 
whole house." 

And he could have had the whole house, for, owing 
to shortness of notice and lack of advertisement, the 
crowded audience of the night before had dwindled to 
a few curious passers-by, who, noticing the hall was 
open, had dropped in just to see what was going on. 

So there is something in the power of advertisement. 

Those costume recitals must have been profitable, for 
soon after the close of the tour, with my old school 
friend Kate Morton I paid my first visit to Monte Carlo. 

I knew absolutely nothing about gambling, and 
everybody had warned me not on any account to go 
near the tables, but it seemed absurd to stay at Monte 
Carlo and not visit the Casino, so within three hours 
of our arrival I was in the rooms, and in much less 
time I had, in some wholly mysterious manner which 
I was absolutely unable to understand, lost over 
thirty-five pounds. 

The discovery gave me rather a shock. People all 
round me had money pushed at them by the croupiers, 
but none seemed to come my way, and I thought it 
high time to investigate the cause. 

** I must learn this game before I play again," I told 

Myself and Others 176 

Kate, and on the way back to the hotel I bought a 
roulette wheel. 

So for several mornings I set myself to " learn the 
game " in a stuffy hotel room — the whole idea of the 
holiday had been that it was to be spent in the fresh 
air — and still I lost ! 

Then I determined to play for half an hour a day 
before lunch only, and if I still lost, to leave Monte 
Carlo for ever and go to Nice. 

As I entered the Casino the morning of my stern 
decision, I rubbed against Mr. Alphonse de Rothschild. 
It seemed a good omen, and I managed to get a seat 
next to him, thinking he would be simply bound to bring 
me luck. But his game was entirely beyond my poor 
comprehension. Not having a mathematical brain, 
I was quite unable to follow it, so I was thrown back on 
the little system I had invented all by myself on the 
roulette wheel in my hotel bedroom, and the system, as 
far as I remember it, consisted in having half a louis 
on seventeen, half a louis on the column, and half on 
six dernier. To my gratified surprise, the first coup 
came off, and so delighted was I that I passed half 
a louis to the benevolent-looking croupier who had 
shovelled me my winnings. I was rather astonished 
when he returned it in small change, but : " Never 
mind," I said to myself, " you deserve it. Whatever 
you are, you are not grasping, and you shall have a nice 
tip when I leave off." 

My little system worked out admirably. Time after 
time the benevolent croupier shovelled me my winnings, 
and time after time he returned the half-louis I 
attempted to give him for his trouble. 

At last an idea struck me — a horrible idea — which 
made me tingle all over. 

176 Myself and Others 

" Half a louis is not enough ! " I told myself. " The 
regulation tip is a louis ; that's why he won't take it ! " 

Heavens, how mean I felt ! 

To think, after all his kindness, that I had been 
deliberately trying to under-tip him 1 

So I played my final coup, gathered in my winnings 
— yes, I won again ! — and, rising hurriedly, bolted from 
the rooms leaving a whole louis on the table for the 
benevolent croupier. 

When I got back to the hotel I told the shameful 
story of my meanness to a person of experience. 

Good heavens ! " he exclaimed, in mock horror. 

Of course you know that you'll never be allowed in 
the rooms again 1 " 

" If they are as strict as all that, they ought to put 
up a notice about the proper amount to tip ! " I retorted. 
*' How on earth was I to know that a louis was the 
correct fee ? " 

And then he went on to explain gently that I had 
committed an unheard-of offence, the penalty for which 
was expulsion, both for the benevolent croupier and 
myself, the offence being bribery and the receiving of a 
bribe ! 

Somehow or other, so accustomed had I grown on my 
first visit to Monte Carlo to tipping the most respectable- 
looking people in the shape of maitres d^hotel, concierges 
and officials of every description, that it had never 
occurred to me that a benevolent Casino croupier could 
possibly be beyond the pale of tips. 

I wonder what he did with that poor little louis when 
everybody had gone, and it was lying there unaccounted 
for. And it must have lain there, for I am sure 
Mr. Alphonse de Rothschild wouldn't have picked 
it up. 

Myself and Others 177 

That holiday contained two new experiences for me : 
I paid my first visit to the gaming table, and spoke for 
the first time on the telephone. 

And I don't know which experience was the more 
exciting. When I reached my hotel in Paris on the 
return journey I was told that I was " wanted on the 
telephone." I am afraid that such a message nowadays 
would entirely fail to excite, but as I had never in my 
life used a telephone I quivered with nervousness. A 
polite clerk told me exactly how to use the terrible 
instrument, and assured me that there was not the 
slightest danger of electrocution, so I gingerly lifted the 
receiver to my ears, and felt the thrill of an inventor 
when I heard the voice of Mr. Terriss, who was actually 
speaking from the Green Room Club in far-off 

His voice sounded faint and tired, and I told him so^ 
with a laugh. 

" You can laugh," he replied with a sigh. " You're 
in Paris, and can enjoy yourself. I'm off to another 

" Becket " was on the eve of production, and of all 
the Lyceum rehearsals those for " Becket " were, I was 
told, the most exhausting, for Irving, in his anxiety tO' 
do the dead Laureate justice, spared neither himself 
nor others. 

I had expected to be in the cast, for Irving had 
insisted on my return to the Lyceum, but for long he 
refused to tell me of his plans for Tennyson's play, and 
at last the mystery was solved when he informed me 
that Miss Ward was to play opposite to Miss Terry, and 
that I was to understudy Miss Ward and to play the 
part on the American tour. And, as a tiny matter of 
stage history, I also played the part at the Lyceum 


178 Myself and Others 

during Miss Ward's absence from the cast owing to the 
death of her mother. 

The opening night of " Becket " was an event, even 
in the story of the Lyceum, and I returned to my flat 
with my mind full of the wonderful performance of 
Irving — in my opinion, his Becket and his Hamlet were 
his two greatest parts, and were unsurpassable — and 
of the vision of Terriss, who had never played more 
nobly, and who looked superb in the gorgeous dresses 
of the king. His voice was still ringing in my ears and 
his regal figure was still in my mind's eye when I returned 
to my flat next morning after a walk, for he had arranged 
to call for me to take me out to lunch. 

There was no one in the drawing-room. 

" Has Mr. Terriss called ? " I asked. 

" Yes," replied Lottie ; " he's on the roof cleaning 
out the drains." 

And at that moment the door opened, and, instead of 
the stately embodiment of Henry of England, a tousled 
and rather disreputable figure in old tweeds entered. 

" Lottie told me your gutters were choked," said the 
figure, " so I've been up on the roof cleaning them out. 
Can I have a wash before we go to lunch ? " 

Many a romance would have been spoilt by the sharp 
contrast between the figure of the night's illusion and 
the morning's reality ! One hardly pictures a young, 
golden-voiced Apollo cleaning out gutters. 

There was no false romance, no false sentiment about 
Terriss. The key-note to his character was plain, 
matter-of-fact determination, and determination and 
hard work were his prevailing characteristics to the end. 

In a letter he wrote me while this budget of memories 
was being put together, Sir Squire Bancroft reminded 
me of his first interview with Terriss. On returning 

Myself and Others 179 

from a walk to their house in Circus Road, their maid 
told Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft that a young gentleman, 
who had called before, had pushed past her and installed 
himself in the drawing-room to await their return. On 
being interviewed, he calmly announced that he was 
resolved not to leave the house until he had an engage- 
ment, and so amused and amazed was Sir Squire with 
his courage and cool but quite polite perseverance, that 
when he left the house he was engaged to play a small 
part in a revival of Tom Robertson's " Society." 

By the way it was, curiously enough, in connection 
with this very play of " Society " that Lady Bancroft 
first met Robertson, who had previously met her 
husband at my father's house. 

" I first met Robertson at a supper party given by 
your father and mother," wrote Sir Squire, in the letter 
I am quoting, " but he was introduced to my wife by 
H. J. Byron, when he and Mrs. Byron lived in Doughty 
Street, with a view to reading ' Society.' " 

In spite of the success of " Becket," rehearsals con- 
tinued at the Lyceum throughout its run, in preparation 
for the fourth American tour, and, as I have said, there 
was nothing perfunctory about Lyceum rehearsals. At 
that time, whatever the play might be at night, the 
American repertoire was rehearsed by day, and the 
gospel of work was constantly preached to me both by 
Irving and byTerriss — two widely different personalities, 
who agreed, however, in this one particular. 

One had little time for amusement and social engage- 
ments, and I was reminded of Terriss's appearance in 
my flat in his " working clothes " when one afternoon, 
after a long and tiring rehearsal, I met Irving in Leicester 

M 2 

180 Myself and Others 

He stopped me, and chatted for a few moments, and 
I thought I saw a merry twinkle in his eye. 

As I have said, I always stood a little in awe of Irving 
off the stage, so I felt quite embarrassed when as he 
bade me good-bye he observed : " You are looking 
very charming, my dear." 

" I don't feel it, Mr. Irving," I replied, nervously. 
" I feel tired out." 

" Very charming," he repeated, with the twinkle 
more pronounced than ever. " Look at yourself in the 
first glass you come to." 

So, at the first glass I came to, I sought to discover 
the charm which had appealed to Irving's sense of 
humour, and I discovered it — in the shape of three long 
dirty streaks down the whole of one side of my face. 

The London season came to an end, and in the 
autumn of 1893 the Lyceum Company sailed from 
Southampton on what was for Irving his fourth, and 
for me my second, American tour. In many ways, from 
the sordid point of view of comfort, this tour possessed 
many advantages over the first one. Even Irving, 
whom nothing seemed to tire, who seemed to require 
no sleep and who thrived on work, had, on our first 
visit, begun to complain of the eternal journeying — the 
jumping from Brooklyn to Chicago, from Chicago to 
Boston, which had been rendered necessary by the 
relinquishment of the one-night places originally planned. 
Each succeeding tour had brought about an improvement 
in the travelling arrangements, and by the time the 
fourth tour was arranged the plan of campaign had 
almost reached perfection. It was, as an expert touring 
manager observed, the most complete and easiest tour 
that had ever been mapped out. 

In the first place it began at San Francisco. 

Myself and Others 181 

Irving, Miss Terry and the Lovedays went off in 
advance for a short hoHday in Canada, and the company 
sailed from Southampton on the 19th August, nominally 
under the parental care of Bram Stoker, but in reality 
Mr. Terriss very soon took charge of the expedition. 

The first excitement of the tour occurred in New 
York. A certain member of the company, unused to 
the autocratic methods of the policemen of a democratic 
country, dared to argue with a New York " cop " ; from 
argument he was rash enough to proceed to strong 
words, and the policeman, quite unused to free speech 
from a mere member of the public, promptly arrested 
him. So the start was delayed while Terriss and Stoker 
extricated the victim from the toils of democratic 
tyranny, and pacified the offended autocrats with 
abject apologies on behalf of the offender, and promises 
to behave respectfully in future. 

The delay worried poor Stoker, but there was worse 
in store for him. Five days on end cooped up in even a 
comfortable American train was a disagreeable novelty 
to most of us, and soon became insupportable to Terriss, 
whose love of exercise and fresh air almost amounted to 
amania. And he had the company with him, when 
against Stoker's formal wishes — yet, I am sure, in 
accordance with Stoker's secret desires — he took to 
having the special stopped at little wayside stations, 
at which the " fresh-air fiends " used to get out and go 
for brisk walks, while the train officials chewed gum and 
swapped drinks and stories with the natives. 

At one such little wayside station a quaint little in- 
cident took place. No sooner had the train stopped, 
with its usual howl and shriek of whistles and brakes, 
than two miners appeared on the scene, and seeking out 
Terriss, told him that they had been waiting for the 

182 Myself and Others 

train, as, being English, they wanted to welcome fellow 
countrymen to their village. 

" And, Mr. Terriss," said one of them, " perhaps you 
don't know that this place is as good as named after 

Which indeed it was, being Terrasse. 

The speaker's apparent familiarity with his face and 
name amused Terriss, who asked if they had ever met 
in the old country. 

" I can't say that we ever exactly w^i," said the man, 
with a smile, " but do you remember once playing in 
" Hamlet " with Mr. Irving in Edinburgh, when a 
lime-lightman fell from the flies on to the stage ? " 

" Yes," replied Terriss. 

" Well, I was that man, so, in a sense, we've appeared 
on the stage together ! " 

The various stops for exercise and conversation with 
the inhabitants took up time, and when we at last 
arrived at Cheyenne, a station at the foot of the Rockies, 
Bram Stoker became almost hysterical when he in- 
formed Terriss that we were no less than twelve hours 
behind time — with the Rocky Mountains still to cHmb. 

There was only one thing to be done, and Terriss 
did it. ^ 

" Fearing that we should be late for our evening 
performance," he wrote to a friend, describing our 
adventures, " I thought our only chance was to try an 
application of the almighty dollar. I did this to the 
driver in the shape of a ten-dollar bill, asking at the 
same time to be allowed to ride on the engine. The 
result was that we ascended and descended the Rockies 
at a far greater speed than had ever before been attained, 
and when it became known that the increased oscillation, 
as we sped through the rugged defiles, across the slender 

Myself and Others 183 

bridges that spanned the yawning ravines and through 
the snowsheds, was due to the erratic driving of a 
Thespian, prayers were offered up for the safe arrival 
of the troupe at San Francisco." 

So far as I remember, the climb was not so bad, even 
if the constant " puff-puff-puff " of the labouring engine 
got on one's nerves ; it was after we had paused for a 
moment to take in water at a spot where a notice- 
board proclaimed " This is the Summit of the Rockies " 
that the long descent — and the fun — really began. At 
times the train seemed to leap like a thing possessed, 
and no one seemed surprised when one dear old member 
of the company was found lying prone on his " tummy," 
with his eyes tightly shut, loudly praying for " those 
in peril on deep waters," so much had the oscillation 
upset him. 

But in spite of all we were many hours late, and the 
only time I ever saw Irving really excited was when he 
met us on our arrival late on the Sunday evening. And 
his excitement was easy to understand for we were 
to open in a few hours' time to a house which had long 
been sold out at the highest prices ever known in the 
City of the Golden Gate, even Patti's colossal figures 
being eclipsed. 

The first part in which I appeared in San Francisco 
was that of Queen Eleanor in " Becket," and, to my 
horror, as the play proceeded I found that I simply 
could not act. 

It was not that I was acting badly ; I was not acting 
at all, and after one of my scenes I was not surprised 
when Irving came to me and reprimanded me for 
slackness. But it was not slackness ; try as I would, 
I seemed to become worse ; it was not merely bad 
acting, it was not acting at all. Pace, " attack," 

184 Myself and Others 

intonation — everything was wrong, horribly wrong, and 
I felt desperate. So after the big " mob scene " I sought 
Irving out in my turn. 

" I don't know what is the matter with me," I blurted 
desperately. " I'm not acting at all." 

" No," he replied sardonically, and no one could 
blame him, for it was the first performance of the dead 
Laureate's play in San Francisco, and it was Irving's 
pride that Tennyson's fame should be honoured in 

There was an awkward pause, while I wondered 
vainly if I could possibly be ill without knowing it, and 
Irving stood waiting politely, if ironically, for some sort 
of explanation. 

At last : " I wonder if it is my dressing-room that is 
depressing me," I exclaimed. 

Irving looked up. 

" What is it like ? " he asked quickly. 

" Like a cell," I told him ; " four bare stone walls, 
with no window, and a bare stone floor." 

" Show it to me," he said at once. 

I took him down, and he stood in the doorway in his 
Archbishop's robes, darting quick glances round the 
miserable den. 

" Of course — of course," he nodded. " How can you get 
the atmosphere of a queen coming from a hole like this ? " 

When I came down to the theatre next day I found 
the bare walls covered with tapestries, and the gloomy 
cell transformed with lights and flowers. 

And it was as Queen Eleanor in the Laureate's play 
that I had the honour of speaking the first words on the 
stage of the new Abbey's Theatre, now called The 
Knickerbocker, in New York, and never shall I forget 
the roar of assent which greeted the question : 

Myself and Others 185 

" Dost love this Becket ? " 

How the American public loved him ! 

Once again an Irving tour had been a triumphal 
progress ; statesmen, artists, lawyers, great commercial 
magnates, members of every class and every rank in 
life had vied in paying tribute to the great actor and 
his art. The farewells were almost hysterical in their 
fervour, and my most abiding memories of the con- 
cluding scenes of that visit are of vast, waiting, cheering 
crowds, which turned what was a theatrical tour into 
a royal progress. 

It was at Chicago that I saw Mr. Terriss in a new 
role, that of the " heavy father." It did not suit him 
in the least, and he soon abandoned it. 

Just before the performance of " The Merchant of 
Venice " I was handed a cable from Dr. Lewin which 
contained the news of Ellaline's marriage to Seymour 
Hicks, and asked me to break the news to her father. 
Thoroughly imbued with the Lyceum tradition, I was 
terribly afraid lest someone should break the news to 
him before the performance was over, but no one did, 
and when the curtain fell I handed him the cable. 

It was at first rather a shock to him, as Ella had been 
left in charge of the house in Bedford Park, and, on 
bidding her father good-bye, she had flung her arms 
round him vowing that she would never, never marry 
anyone — a very rash vow for a beautiful girl such as 

But for quite ten minutes Mr. Terriss was the stern 
parent of tradition. 

" Outrageous — unkind — disrespectful to me — incon- 
siderate ! " he stormed. " I'll never speak to her again ! 
Never ! " 

" Don't be absurd ! " I cried. 

186 Myself and Others 

For a moment I was really frightened, but some 
weeks later, when our train at last steamed slowly into 
Euston, Terriss, catching a glimpse of Ella waiting on 
the arrival platform, was out of the carriage before the 
train stopped, and father and daughter rushed into 
one another's arms. 

And that was the " last act " of the " stern parent." 
During one of the last performances in America, 
Irving called me aside and told me that he wished me 
to play Margaret in the revival of " Faust " with which 
he was to reopen the Lyceum. 

" Miss Terry will play for the first week," he said, 
*' but she needs a rest, and when she goes I want you 
to play the part." 

As a matter of fact, as she tells in her reminiscences, 
Miss Terry was already tiring of the part of the young 
girl, but as for me, I could hardly believe my ears when 
I heard the news. I thought at first that it must be a 
joke, that it could not be possibly true ; but it was 
true, and the day that I played Margaret to the 
Mephistopheles of Henry Irving and the Faust of 
Terriss was positively the happiest day of my life on 
the stage. 

Yet on that day I realized for the first and only time 
in my life what it is to have stage fright, to say nothing 
of giving Irving a severe shock. 

Although my name had been advertised for some time, 
when I made my first appearance I felt acutely conscious 
of a murmur of disappointment that I was not Ellen 
Terry, and for the moment it completely upset me. 
Therefore, when Faust made his request : 

" Pretty lady, will you walk with me ? " 

I replied in the words of Margaret : 

Myself and Others 187 

" Sir, I am not pretty, nor yet a lady; I have no need 
of any escort home," and walked straight off the stage 
without finishing the scene, with Irving watching me 
and wondering what on earth I was likely to do next. 
However, I soon recovered, and the jewel scene passed 
off without a hitch. 

Having given Irving one shock, he was to give me 

As Margaret knelt praying in the Cathedral scene, 
a bony finger gave her two or three severe prods, and 
a well-known voice muttered, sotto voce : 

" Louder ! — louder ! More agony ! — more agony ! " 

And at each prod Margaret's voice soared in the 
desired agony. 

I played Margaret on that never-to-be-forgotten day 
at the matinee and at the evening performance, and when 
the curtain fell at night Irving turned to me smiling : 

" Like to play it all over again ? " he asked 

" I should ! " I cried. 

" I really believe you would," he chuckled. 

I have often been asked what has been my favourite 
character, and my answer has always been Margaret in 
*' Faust," at the Lyceum, but the Mephistopheles was 
Henry Irving, and the Faust was William Terriss. 


The Adelphi again. — Authors and others. — Haddon Chambers. — George 
Edwardes. — Seymour Hicks. — A villainous heroine. — The latest fashion. — 
The " actressocracy." — Edwardes at rehearsal. — Getting his way. — Marie 
Tempest and trousers. — Medical advice. — George Edwardes' philosophy. 
— Jimmy Davis. — Pottinger Stephens appoints a dramatic critic. — John 
Corlett and " The Bat." — The responsibiUties of an editor. — An ideal 
butler. — Cecil Raleigh. — A sporting education. — Blistering criticisms. — 
George R. Sims. — The kindly Dagonet. — Brandon Thomas and " Charley's 
Aunt."— Comyns Carr. — The Gattis. — A veteran Garibaldian. — A mihtary 
melodrama that never matured. — Colonel NewTiham Davis and WilUe 
Goldberg. — Terriss's borrowed plumes. — " Black-eyed Susan." — Wilham 
Gillette and the Duchess. — " Secret Service." 

IN the year 1894 I returned to the Adelphi, to act with 
Mr. Terriss in a series of plays beginning with " The 
Fatal Card " and ending with the suspension of the 
run of " Secret Service " on the murder of my comrade. 
The playgoer of to-day, I fancy, hardly realises the 
abilities of the playwrights who by no means considered 
it'beneath their dignity to write what had become known 
as " Adelphi drama," and in the list of plays produced 
from 1894 to 1897 I find as authors or part authors 
such names as David Belasco, Brandon Thomas, Clement 
Scott, George Edwardes and Seymour Hicks, Haddon 
Chambers, Comyns Carr and William Gillette, and the 
owners of those names were men of no mean ability, 
who, one and all, have made their mark in theatrical 

Of all the authors I have met Haddon Chambers, 
who will perhaps be best remembered by his " Captain 


Myself and Others 189 

Swift " and that brilliant comedy " The Tyranny of 
Tears," was the least conventional, the most Bohemian, 
in the best meaning of that much abused word. One of 
the kindest and most considerate men who ever lived, 
time and place had absolutely no meaning for Haddon ; 
he was entirely above such limitations — which occa- 
sionally made him rather incomprehensible to Philistines 
and strangers. 

The last time I spoke to him was in New York, and 
the meeting was typical of his methods. I had not the 
faintest idea that he was in America until one afternoon 
Charles Frohman, who was one of his greatest friends, 
happened to remark that Haddon had just left him. 

That night when I arrived at my hotel from the 
theatre I found a card with a pencilled note containing 
an address, and signed " H. C." The hall porter told 
me that " the gentleman " had called at half-past ten, 
and as he told me he seemed mildly surprised at " the 
gentleman's " visiting hours. I explained that my 
visitor was a famous English author, and that all 
geniuses were erratic, and he condescended to accept 
the explanation in the spirit in which it was offered. 

The next morning I rang up Haddon. 

" Why on earth did you call on me at half-past ten 
at night ? " I asked him. " You knew I would be at 
the theatre." 

" I really don't know," he replied. " It must have been 
a sudden impulse. I felt I'd like to see where you lived." 

To " The Fatal Card " succeeded '' The Girl I Left 
Behind Me " — someone suggested that its title should 
have been " The Girl I Took Around with Me " — by 
David Belasco and Franklin Fyles. 

A line which invariably brought rounds of enthusiastic 
applause was that of the old General : " Forty years in 

190 Myself and Others 

the army have taught me that a loyal lover is bound to 
be a good soldier." 

That was the moral of the play, and how the Adelphi 
" gods " cheered it ! 

The famous remark of Sir Joseph Porter in " H.M.S. 
Pinnafore " — " It is a standing rule at the Admiralty 
that love levels all ranks " — never got one-half the 

During the run of " The Girl I Left Behind Me " came 
the news of Henry Irving's knighthood, and, wild with 
joy and enthusiasm, I dashed off to the nearest tele- 
graph office and wired him congratulations on his 
baronetcy ! 

Back came the reply — so like him : " Thousand 
thanks for kind congratulations — but only a nightly 

It was during Lord Rosebery's brief premiership that 
Henry Irving received his knighthood, and Lord Rose- 
bery was a frequent visitor at the Lyceum. 

During the run of " Much Ado about Nothing " I 
remember that one evening there was to be a big supper 
party after the play, in the Beefsteak Room, and one 
had heard that amongst the guests was to be the future 
Premier. So with, I am afraid, deplorable levity, no 
sooner had I changed into my " going home " clothes 
after the play than I ran down the passage to the 
stage door, singing loudly, for the benefit of a girl 
friend, whose dressing-room I had to pass : 

" I'm going to supper with Lord Rose-beree ! Lord 
Rose-beree ! Lord Rose-beree ! " 

As I turned a corner, I almost bumped into a slim, 
young-looking gentleman, who glanced at me with some 
amusement, but I ran on, chanting my song. 

Myself and Others 191 

The next day my friend met me as I arrived at the 

" Do you know whom you nearly knocked down last 
night ? " she asked. I shook my head. 

" Lord Rosebery," she replied, primly, " and every- 
one in the theatre is absolutely horrified ! " 

But I don't think that the future Prime Minister was 
really very upset, for Irving told me drily, with an 
amused smile, that Lord Rosebery, in commenting on 
the play, had observed that he had never realized that 
Hero possessed such high spirits. 

Perhaps the most successful of the plays produced 
during this period at the Adelphi was " One of the 
Best," by George Edwardes and Seymour Hicks. For 
one thing, it had a topical interest, and though the 
^' wrongly accused hero " is as old as the hills, the 
excitement and feeling produced in this country by the 
proceedings in the Dreyfus case gave an added point 
to the big scene in which the innocent young officer was 
publicly degraded for betraying his country's secrets. 
Never had Mr. Terriss acted better, but as for me, I 
had a perfectly villainous part as the heroine. 

Heroine as she was, she did the most contemptible, 
not to say criminal, things. She betrayed her father and 
her country to her villain lover, perjured herself through 
thick and thin, allowed an innocent man to be publicly 
degraded, and then turned round and betrayed her 
lover because he would not marry her. One critic 
wrote that the latest Adelphi heroine ought to be handed 
over to Professor Lombroso to adorn his gallery of 
female criminals, and perhaps the most flattering 
criticism I ever received was from the pen of Mr. 
Archer, who, in those days, was supposed to devote 

192 Myself and Others 

himself entirely to the gloom of Ibsen and to despise 
the more popular forms of drama. 

" A character of more unredeemed turpitude has never 
been presented to the execrations of a British gallery," 
he wrote. " Yet such is Miss Millward's empire over 
the affections of the Adclphi ' gods ' that they positively 
applaud her ! This Esther Coventry is the pivot of the 
whole action, and in designing her the authors have 
simplified their task with a happy audacity on which I 
beg to congratulate them." 

From all of which you will gather that the part was 
not exactly a sympathetic one, and over it I had very 
nearly quarrelled with Seymour Hicks at rehearsal. 

Those were the days of the hideous and exaggerated 
*' leg-of-mutton " sleeves, and to be in the fashion one 
wore gigantic starched protrusions which elevated one's 
shoulders to one's ears. The effect was appalling, but 
we thought it very " chic " in those days, and everyone 
who wished to be in the movement vied with her friends 
in the height and " ballooniness " of her sleeves. 

But my costumier had given me the quiet hint that 
the vogue of the monstrosities was drawing to a close, 
and when I anticipated the swing of the pendulum of 
fashion and appeared at dress rehearsal with tightly 
fitting sleeves and "natural" shoulders Seymour nearly 

After the first act he came rushing round to my 

" I call it a beastly shame, Jessie ! " he stormed. 
" I know you've never liked the part, and now you're 
trying to damn the play ! The audience will yell their 
heads off when they see you in that absurd dress ! " 

" My dear Seymour," I said coldly, *' you may be 
a very clever author and a very brilliant young man. 

Myself and Others 193 

but you know nothing whatever about the coming 
fashions. Ask my costumier, if you like ; he's in the 

Still Seymour refused to be comforted, and he was 
not even pacified when George Edwardes, who had been 
appealed to as brother author, merely replied : " Let 
her wear what she likes. I'm sure she's right." 

So the " absurd " dress won the day, and in a few 
weeks was the height of fashion. And George Edwardes 
had smoothed over another situation successfully. 

If ever there was a man used to smoothing over 
situations, it was George Edwardes, and truth to tell, 
with so many situations to smooth over, it is no wonder 
that he became an expert. But the task was not always 
an easy one, and in the days when the Gaiety began to 
become a marriage market for the youthful scions of 
noble houses, and what someone called the " actresso- 
cracy " became a feature of the peerage, poor Edwardes 
was compelled in self-defence to insert a clause in his 
contracts that no lady who joined his company should 
marry for at least two years. The beautiful " show- 
girls " and " small part ladies " signed the clause with 
alacrity, but I fear the effect, from George Edwardes' 
point of view, was exactly nil. 

Which was perhaps as well from the point of view of 
the race, for has not Sir Arthur Pinero made one of his 
characters observe : " The musical comedy girls will be 
the salvation of the aristocracy in the country. Just 
think of them — keen-witted young women, full of the 
joy of life, with strong frames, beautiful hair, and healthy 
pink gums and big white teeth ! " According to which, 
of course, marriage with a Gaiety girl meant a eugenic 
triumph and no small service to the State, no matter 
what shipwreck it caused to the plans of the Gaiety chief. 

194 Myself and Others 

Personally, in my small experience of him, I always 
found George Edwardes amiability itself at rehearsals, 
but if a tenth of what one heard was true he had his 
own little methods of getting his way. 

For example, a certain singer rather fancied himself 
in a certain song which had little or nothing to do with 
the piece in which it was interpolated. Hints had proved 
useless, and appeals worse than useless, so at last, in 
despair, the stage manager brought Edwardes down to 

The singer threw himself into the song, and felt that 
he must have surpassed himself, to say nothing of having 
scored off his enemy, the stage manager, when 
at the conclusion the great man observed : 

" Capital, dear boy, capital ! Now, just sing it again, 
will you ? " 

Immensely flattered at being encored by Edwardes 
himself at rehearsal, the singer sang it again, with, if 
possible, more artistic endeavour than before. 

" Splendid, dear boy, splendid ! " came the verdict. 
" And now, if you don't mind, just speak it." 

Slightly wondering, the singer spoke the lines. 

" Now, speak it just once more." 

He spoke it just once more. 

" And now — cut the damn thing out ! " 

And it was cut out. 

But even if he got his own way with his productions 
it was not always to his advantage, for is it not a matter 
of stage history that a dispute over the length of the 
trousers she was to wear in the title role of " San Toy " 
drove Miss Marie Tempest from the realms of musical 
comedy to those of pure comedy ? 

The lady wanted the trousers short, and Edwardes 
insisted that they should be long. So the lady left the 

Myself and Others 195 

cast and the lighter stage at one and the same time, 
and developed into the brilliant comedienne we all 

A kind-hearted soul, George Edwardes was prodigal 
of advice and sympathy to fellow sufferers when the 
rheumatic affection which afterwards afflicted him so 
severely first began to pain him, and a typical story 
used to be told of him in this respect. 

He was motoring near Winkfield when he overtook 
an old countryman hobbling along, almost doubled up 
with " the rheumatics." 

Kind-hearted Edwardes stopped his car, and after 
making enquiries into his fellow sufferer's bad case, was 
full of good advice. 

" Now take my tip, old man," he pleaded. " What- 
ever you do don't go chucking away your money on 
visits to Kissingen and Aix and those other rotten 
places. They're all frauds, and it's throwing good coin 
away. What you want to do is to get your specialist 
to order you that violet ray treatment — that and a 
course of Malvern waters will make a new man of you ! 
Take my advice, old chap, and give it a trial." 

And off dashed the car with a beaming George, 
leaving a bewildered and slightly dazed agricultural 
labourer clutching a golden coin in one horny hand — 
those were pre-war days — and scratching his head with 
the other. 

But at times George Edwardes had very vague ideas 
about financial assistance. A certain playwright had 
read over a scenario to him, and Edwardes had been 
much impressed by its novelty and possibilities — so 
much so that there and then he had commissioned the 
author to go straight away to his favourite seaside 
resort and finish the play with all possible speed. Where- 

N 2 

196 Myself and Others 

upon the author promptly asked for something on 

" Something on account ? " echoed Edwardes. " Very 
well. Go to my secretary and tell him you are to have 

*' Fifty isn't enough," protested the author. " I 
can't possibly go away on fifty. You see, it means shut- 
ting up the flat in town, and what with my wife, the 
three children, my wife's maid, the nurse — what about 
two hundred on account ? " 

" Very well, very well," growled Edwardes. Then, 
turning to his faithful friend and adviser : " Arthur," he 
said, " see that in future all my librettists are bachelors ! " 

A philosopher in his way, George Edwardes classed all 
men as " positives " or *' negatives," and one of his 
theories of life was that two positives or two negatives 
were bound to disagree, whereas a negative and a 
positive worked well together. He, of course, counted 
himself a positive. 

xA-nd what a personality amongst authors was 
Edwardes' friend and favourite playwright, Jimmy 
Davis, or " Owen Hall " as he punningly named himself, 
for the simple reason that he was for long in a chronic 
financial state of owing all. 

Jimmy Davis's ideas of finance were all his own. He 
once went to a famous financier of his acquaintance with 
a view to obtaining expert advice on a position which 
was at the moment (as at so many other moments in 
his early career) apparently hopeless. 

Said the financier : " Meet your creditors, Jimmy." 

" My dear good man," replied, sadly, " my 
sole object in life is to avoid them." 

Dramatic critic, editor, solicitor, librettist, and, above 
all, optimist, Jimmy Davis was a man of many parts, 

Myself and Others 197 

and was for long a prominent figure in Bohemian and 
theatrical London. 

He succeeded Bill Yardley and Pottinger Stephens as 
dramatic critic of the old " Pink 'Un," and as Jimmy's 
puckish humour was all his own, and as, above all, he 
delighted in " pitching into play-actors," as he put it, 
his proprietor and editor, old John Corlett, returned 
from one of his annual holidays abroad to find that, 
owing to the vagaries of his critic, he was not on speaking 
terms with many of his old theatrical friends, including 
the Bancrofts and Beerbohm Tree. 

And Jimmy Davis had become dramatic critic to the 
" Sporting Times " in quite an original way. *' Pot " 
Stephens, as he was called, the properly accredited 
critic, had dabbled in play-writing, and a comic opera, 
" Billee Taylor," in which he had collaborated with the 
much married Teddy Solomons, proving a big success, 
was sold to America. Stephens wanted to go over to 
New York for the production and borrowed fifty pounds 
from his editor for the passage, without, however, telling 
him what the money was wanted for. From Queenstown 
he posted a letter informing John Corlett that he was 
on his way to New York, and that he had appointed 
Jimmy Davis dramatic critic in his absence. In the 
same letter he also arranged for repayment of the fifty 
on somewhat original lines. 

" You have always paid me a fiver a week," he wrote ; 
" I have arranged for you to pay Davis three pounds, 
and to credit me with the other two pounds, so that at 
the end of six months you will have paid yourself back 
your fifty pounds." 

But when Stephens returned he found Cecil Raleigh 
installed as dramatic critic, under the pseudonym of 

198 Myself and Others 

" Sir Walter," and Davis running a paper of his own 
called " The Bat." 

" I don't want to quarrel with all my friends," John 
Corlett had told Davis ; " why not run a hell of your 
own if you want to criticize everybody ? " And the 
upshot of it was that " The Bat " was founded, Corlett 
contributing a loan of six hundred pounds to the 
financing of the new paper. 

At the end of some months, the proprietor of the 
" Pink 'Un " received a bound volume of " The Bat," 
on the flyleaf of which was inscribed : 

"All that was left of them 
Left of six hundred 1 " 

Another financier was found, Alfred Gibbons of " The 
Lady's Pictorial," but " The Bat " ended in a welter 
of libel actions, and a suit for criminal libel brought by 
the Earl of Durham finished its career and drove its 
editor to France for a prolonged holiday. 

The " making-up " of " The Bat " was a quaint pro- 
ceeding. On the sideboard of the little dining-room 
which served as an editorial room stood a large spirit- 
stand, many bottles of soda-water and glasses. At the 
dining-room table sat the brilliant Shirley Brooks and 
that wilful genius Willie Goldberg — the " Shifter " — 
each with a glass at his elbow, writing for dear life, and 
from a tiny room, no bigger than a cupboard, leading 
out of the main " office," Jimmy Davis used to appear 
at intervals, a cigarette half in his mouth, half hanging 
to a corner of his lower lip. 

Jimmy Davis's ideas of the responsibilities of an 
editor were erratic, to say the least of it, and he frightened 
the life out of one well-known journalist and playwright 
by publishing some perfectly harmless verses by that 

Myself and Others 199 

journalist and playwright in a way that made the 
writer's hair stand on end. 

Happening to lunch with Davis one day, the journa- 
list mentioned that the previous evening he had seen 
Mrs. Langtry in a new play. 

A sudden idea clutched Davis. 

" I wish you'd write me some verses in praise of her," 
he said. " Write me something graceful, and don't be 
afraid to praise her — lay it on with a trowel, if you like." 

The verses were accordingly written and posted, and 
to the horror of the author he saw them in "The Bat," 
with the following little note as preface : 

" Prince Henry of Battenberg is a bit of a poet. 
After his visit to the Prince's Theatre on Tuesday even- 
ing he sent the following verses to Mrs. Langtry. I 
wonder how Princess Beatrice likes them." 

And the only explanation the editor gave the outraged 
poet was that he believed in attracting attention ! 

But as the successful playwright " Owen Hall," Jimmy 
Davis entered upon a new incarnation ; and his journa- 
listic eccentricities were forgotten in the successes of 
"The Gaiety Girl," "The Geisha," "The Greek 
Slave," and " Florodora " ; his little suppers in Mayfair 
became famous, and his butler. Downs — known to the 
initiated as " Upsand " — was a Curzon Street institu- 

And Downs was, in his way, as much of a personality 
as his erratic master. 

Much more than a mere butler, he was an expert in 
placing small " starting price " commissions, and Davis 
often declared : " I verily believe that he could get you 
a small cheque changed in the middle of the Sahara ! " 

Jimmy Davis's supper parties at the house in Curzon 
Street were famous, and were usually interesting 

200 Myself and Others 

because they were a salad of all that was piquant in 
London life. No guest knew whether he or she was 
likely to sit next to the operatic star of the moment or 
to Bessie Bellwood ; and the heir to a dukedom and a 
music-hall comedian, if prepared to make themselves 
agreeable and amusing, were equally welcome guests. 
And in the early hours of the morning Tosti would 
improvise wonderful melodies in the drawing-room 
upstairs, and if there was a new song going into musical 
comedy or opera it would be first heard in Curzon Street, 
with the composer himself at the piano. 

It used to be said that the only man who slept at a 
Curzon Street supper was Augustus Harris, who, un- 
willing to miss the fun, but dead tired, had come on 
from a long rehearsal. Sheer physical fatigue overcame 
him, and, putting his arms on the table, his head sank 
on to them and he slept peacefully for the rest of the 

It was at a Curzon Street supper in the early spring 
that a well-known gourmet made an unsuccessful 
assault on some choice plovers' eggs. His weakness 
was well known, and some china salt and pepper 
castors, shaped and coloured like plovers' eggs, had 
been put in a moss nest and placed within his reach. 
Everyone pretended to ignore him and them, but the 
manoeuvres of the victim to bring the nest up to his 
plate and his furtive attempts to crack an egg were 
eagerly watched by the whole table. 

The butler's casual conversation with his master would 
have made excellent dialogue for comedy — or farce — 
for Downs never hesitated to express his private and 
personal opinions. Of one frequent guest whose girth was 
enormous he complained that he impeded the waiting, 
as it was impossible to get past him at the table. 

Myself and Others 201 

" Nonsense," said Davis. " He doesn't take up all 
that amount of room." 

" Oh, doesn't he ? " replied the servant ironically. 
" Why I could lay supper for ten on his back ! " 

Another Curzon Street habitue was a very serious 
gentleman, who did not write plays, or articles for 
newspapers, who did not race, and did not seem to be 
a wit. 

" I can't make out why he comes here so often," 
confided Downs to his master. " He seems much too 
respectable for our set." 

Just before Davis launched one of his journalistic 
ventures on the world he invited Arthur Binstead, 
known to thousands of readers under his nom de plume 
of " The Pitcher," to contribute to the new paper, 
adding that he had a sum of almost three hundred 
pounds behind him. 

" Three hundred pounds," repeated Pitcher. " My 
dear James, your very first printing bill will exhaust 
that ! " 

With a look of ineffable pity for his friend's com- 
mercial ineptitude, Jimmy replied : 

" How absolutely infantile are your notions of 
journalistic finance, Arthur ! To begin with, I never 
pay printers ; then again " 

And the possible contributor hurriedly congratulated 
the future editor on his methods, and pleaded press of 
work as an excuse for not contributing ! 

Of the thousands of neat things Jimmy used to say, a 
description of Monte Carlo as the place " where all the 
vices are virtues, and all the virtues are vices " was one 
of the neatest. 

One evening at a bachelors' dinner party, the name of 
a well-known character in Bohemia cropped up in con- 

202 Myself and Others 

versation, and one who had seen him lately revealed the 
fact that he was in a state of practical destitution, and 
suggested a subscription. 

" He's far too ill to do anything," pleaded the good 
Samaritan, " and his clothes are almost in rags. Though 
he has a greatcoat of sorts it's awful to see him with 
nowhere to go, dragging from street to street and bar to 
bar. Now, a little bit of gold all round and we could 
give him somewhere to sit down — that's what he wants, 
somewhere to sit down. 

And although the popularity of the victim of mis- 
fortune had waned of late — for various excellent reasons 
— hands instantly went into pockets, when Jimmy 
Davis observed : 

" Seeing that he can sit on a chair in one of the parks 
all day for a penny, he ought to be able to keep a seat 
now till a little after next year's St. Leger ! " 

But all the same, Davis's sovereign was forthcoming. 

As one who knew him well wrote of him on his death : 

" The opening lines of ' The Bat ' were : ' We live in a 
damned wicked world, and the fewer we praise the 
better,' taken from ' The School for Scandal.' It was 
the misfortune of Davis to be the possessor of a Glad- 
stonian mind. Anything that he wanted to believe he 
could always argue himself into. The fatal point in 
his character was his casuistry. His sarcasms were 
biting, and for choice he would inflict them on his best 
friends, who, however, knowing him well, only laughed, 
as he intended them to do. What people chose to say 
about him concerned him not at all, and he made the 
mistake of thinking it was the same with others. Many 
who say spiteful things of others are the first to shout 
when anything of the kind is said of themselves, but it 
was not so with him. He could always take a story 

Myself and Others 203 

against himself. On one occasion when George 
Edwardes was rehearsing one of his plays he struck out 
line after line of risky dialogue. Presently he struck 
out another, on which Jimmy remarked : * There goes 
the last line of Owen Hall's work.' At one time he had 
parliamentary aspirations, and contested Dundalk 
against the late Lord Russell of Killowen and Peter 
Callan. ' I think my billstickers voted for me, but I 
am not sure of all of them ! No one else did 1 ' was the 
cynical view he took of the election. . . . He was a man 
who stood by himself and we never knew another who 
was exactly like him. In these days of dullness his loss 
is one that will be felt, and the stage, at any rate, will 
be the poorer for it." 

Few men knew Jimmy Davis better than John Corlett, 
the writer of those lines. 

I first met Cecil Raleigh at Drury Lane. 

It used to be said of him that he was the first play- 
wright to put the racing world on the stage without 
making absurd technical mistakes and every racing 
character a villain. As Raleigh had been brought up 
in a racing stable, and had, indeed, been first intended 
for a jockey, his sporting dramas, such as " The Whip " 
and " Sporting Life," had the great merit of being 
technically correct, for their author knew what he was 
writing about. His father. Dr. Fothergill Rowlands, 
known to the racing world as " Fog," or " Fogo," after 
being one of the best gentlemen riders of his day, had 
started a training stable at Pitt Place, Epsom, and from 
his childhood Cecil Raleigh was intimate with all the 
mysteries of racing. 

Some of his friends always wondered why Cecil 
Raleigh did not write a play and bring Pitt Place into 
it for the sake of the characters alone. There was one 

204 Myself and Others 

Irish gentleman who was a constant visitor who would 
have made the fortune of any racing comedy if properly 
" translated." One of his favourite axioms was that 
there were only twenty thousand pounds invested in 
racing in the whole of Ireland, and the money was 
continually being passed from hand to hand. 

" But how do they get on for ready cash to keep 
things going ? " he was asked. 

" Oh, sure, an' it's the bit they manage to snatch as 
the money's being passed that keeps things going," 
was the reply. 

Pitt Place, besides being a meeting place for such 
racing celebrities as Lord Marcus Beresford, Sir John 
Astley, Mr. Richard Thorold, the Duke of Hamilton, 
Captain Sadleir, and other prominent followers of the 
turf, was also a rendezvous for many theatrical folk, 
and from the latter young Raleigh first acquired his 
taste for the stage. Beginning as an actor, he became 
an acting manager, dabbled in journalism, and finally 
settled into play-writing, and it is as a writer of plays 
that he won fame. Cecil Raleigh was one of the most 
brilliant conversationalists I have ever known, and, 
cleverly as he wrote, it used to be said of him : " If 
Raleigh only wrote as he talks, what a wonderful writer 
he would be ! " 

It was his boast — and he made it with some justice — 
that he understood the huge stage of Drury Lane better 
than anyone else, and that an author needed a special 
education to understand how to use his characters 
upon it. 

The very last time I met and talked with him I 
found him enthusiastic about the films, and predicting 
airily that as the films developed so would the 
theatre die. 

Myself and Others 205 

I remember that I made a horrified protest but — I 

As a dramatic critic Cecil Raleigh had a way of 
saying exactly what he thought ; a form of dramatic 
criticism which might excite no small sensation nowa- 
days. For instance, what would the modern young 
actress say if on picking up her morning paper she were 
to read : 

" It would be a mistaken kindness to let Miss 

labour under the delusion that she is at present fitted in 
the least possible degree for the stage. She is not a 
pretty woman, she is tall and spare, her accent is not 
agreeable, and her actions are awkward. Her carriage 
and figure are admirably adapted to the requirements 
of the mantle department at Swan and Edgar's or Jay's, 
and while such a career of modest usefulness is open to 
her it is regrettable that she should waste her time and 
that of other persons by embarking in uncongenial 
dramatic enterprises." 

Yet that is what Cecil Raleigh actually wrote of a 
certain lady in a certain play ! 

And how, I wonder, would the modern matinee idol 
endure friendly advice which took this form : 

" He should guard, however, against a bad trick he 
has recently acquired of letting a sort of hissing sound 
accompany his speech. Reserve force is all very well, 
but we don't want saliva, and on Thursday much that 
he said took the form of : ' The man who laysh hish 
handsh on a woman, shave in the way of kinenesh, ish 
not worthy of the namesh of English shailor ! ' " 

The caustic Raleigh wrote this of a brilliant actor of 
the day, and of a lady in the same play the daring critic 
was bold enough to declare : 

" That she should have elected to appear in such a 

206 Myself and Others 

part as Pauline is regrettable from yet another point of 
view. Illusion, after all, is always fondly cherished, 
and I venture to think that those who have gazed with 
admiration on the buxom proportions of the lady 
cannot have experienced anything other than dismay 
when, released from corsets, the rather tubby natural 
outline of her figure was abundantly revealed by the 
clinging draperies of her directoire costume." 

And this was considered legitimate dramatic criticism ! 

Autres temps, autres critiques. 

Another author who did not consider popular drama 
beneath his dignity was Henry Hamilton. 

Hamilton's wit was at times inclined to be caustic, 
and Sir Charles Wyndham, who, unlike so many smaller 
folk, was never loth to tell a tale against himself, was 
fond of giving a typical instance of it. 

Sir Charles sat one day in the Garrick Club, in Garrick's 
chair beneath Garrick's portrait, and to him came Henry 
Hamilton who looked first at the portrait and then at 

" Charles," said Hamilton, " you're growing more like 
Garrick every day." 

" Do you think so ? " returned Wyndham. " I'm 
very glad." 

" It's true," said Hamilton. " And less like him every 
night," he added thoughtfully. 

But Sir Charles Wyndham could afford to smile and 
tell a story against himself, for he was the source of 
many stories for others. A lawyer friend once told me 
that the witness whom counsel dreads of all others is the 
average actor or actress, who almost invariably proves 
hopeless in the witness box. In fact, he assured me, 
the only exception to this rule he had ever come across 
was Sir Charles, whom he once examined as an expert 

Myself and Others 207 

in a case concerning the terms of a theatrical contract. 
Sir Charles had expressed his opinion that any actor 
entrusted with the creation of a part was engaged for 
the run of the play. 

" Then, in effect," suggested opposing counsel, " if he 
proves inefficient the only way to get rid of him from the 
cast is to shoot him ? " 

" I didn't say that," replied Sir Charles drily. " If 
you are the manager you can, as an alternative, shoot 
yourself for including him in the cast." 

An author and critic of a widely different nature was 
the kindly, ever-youthful " Dagonet." Bitterness — to 
say nothing of acidity — and Mr. George R. Sims were 
as poles apart, and only the other day I heard a writer 
say : " I've read ' Mustard and Cress ' ever since I can 
remember ; I think I've read pretty nearly all that 
Sims has written, and, with the possible exceptions of 
Charles Peace and Deeming, I don't think I've ever read 
an unkind word by him on any man, woman or child. 
He even had a good word for ' Jack the Ripper.' " 

Which strikes me as rather a splendid criticism on a 
long and arduous public career. Invincible good humour 
and kindliness are all too rare in this post-war world. 

And here is a recent personal reminiscence, typical 
of the man. 

Before I started this chapter I wrote to George R. 
Sims, telling him of my intention to perpetrate a book, 
and concluding : " Somewhere or other you must 
have a photograph of yourself and Pettitt as you were 
at the time of ' The Harbour Lights ' ; I want you to 
find it and let me have it as an illustration. If not, 
I shall have to fall back on the ' Tatcho ' picture." I 
did not know it, but actually at that moment he had 
taken to his bed, and no one knew better than he that 

208 Myself and Others 

never would he rise from it, except to sit, day and night, 
propped in his chair in vain hope of relief, but week 
by week his cheery article appeared in " The Referee," 
and no one could have guessed from his gay and kindly 
reply to me that he and death were at grips. 

" Don't carry out your threat about the ' Tatcho ' 
picture," he wrote. " I don't know whether I have a 
photograph of myself and Pettitt, but the archives are 
being searched, and you shall hear the result. I have a 
very tender place in my heart for those brave old 
Adelphi days, and often look back upon them with a 
sigh of pleasure and regret. You can count upon one 
deeply interested reader." 

Some weeks afterwards — little did I know or even 
guess his sufferings — another little note arrived : 

" I enclose the drawing of Henry Pettitt and 
myself. Best wishes." 

And then followed the familiar, characteristic signature, 
with the brave little flourish as firmly optimistic as ever. 

This was at the close of June ; yet a few weeks, and 
the pen that had cheered and delighted so many 
hundreds of thousands was to write no more. 

At rehearsals, I remember, " Dagonet " was content 
to leave much of the actual conduct of the work to 
Pettitt, but he was always present, and, if all that one 
heard was true, the collaborators had more than one 
stormy little scene in private before all details were 
settled to their mutual satisfaction. 

*' Is one of the conditions of collaboration with George 
R. Sim.s a willingness to black George R, Sims' boots ? " 
Pettitt was reported to have asked bitterly after one 
little argument. But whatever happened behind the 



Myself and Others 209 

collaborators' scenes in private, Sims interfered very 
little with the actual rehearsals, although, as he once 
told me, he had determined to have a hand in every 
production of his ever since poor Charles Warner ruined 
the success of " The Last Chance " at the Adelphi, 
when as the starving hero, he exclaimed, despairingly : 
" Our last farthing gone ! Starvation stares us in the 
face ! " and raised a hand to heaven — a hand on which 
gHttered a superb diamond ring. 

" Why don't ye pawn yer ring, Charlie ? " bawled a 
critical " god," and it was then that Sims made his resolve. 

The nervous, highly-strung and irritable Pettitt — who 
died, worn out, in his early forties — cannot have been 
easy to work with in collaboration, and perhaps of all 
his collaborators Arthur Shirley got on the best with 
" Dagonet." When writing " The Two Little Vaga- 
bonds " they were said to have worked in all sorts of odd 
places, and the play was concocted in railway carriages, 
outside a Parisian cafe, in the inevitable Adelaide Gallery, 
at Sims' Regent's Park house, " Opposite-the-Ducks," in 
the small hours, and lying on the grass in the country. 

Quite naturally, Sims was a tremendous believer in 
the school of drama with which his name had been 
associated at the Adelphi and the Lane, and it is curious 
that his very last business transaction, which took place 
a day or two before his death, was in connection with 
the film rights of the old Adelphi " Harbour Lights," to 
be played for the " pictures " under the direction of 
Tom Terriss, the clever son of the original " David 

As journalist, dramatist, social reformer, good friend, 
and smiling, kindly philosopher, George R. Sims will live 
long in the memory of those whose privilege it was to 
be associated with him in his work or in his play. 


210 Myself and Others 

Of Brandon Thomas, part author with Clement Scott 
of the EngHsh version of " The Swordsman's Daughter," 
I have already spoken. 

He was one of those rare souls whom early hardships 
and subsequent success fail to embitter, and to the end 
was the same courtly, sweet-hearted gentleman. And 
Brandon Thomas's early struggles were severe. He 
started as an entertainer at the piano, singing his own 
songs in his own very distinctive manner, and one of 
those songs : 

" I lub a lubbly gal, I do, 
And I have lubbed a gal or two. 
And I know how a gal should be lubbed, you bet I do " 

became quite famous in the hands of that brilliant 
" coon " comedian, Eugene Stratton, to whom Thomas 
sold the rights. 

It was, of course, " Charley's Aunt " that at last 
brought Brandon Thomas fame and fortune, and I have 
been told that when the evergreen farce was first pro- 
duced on tour, the author and Penley had been so 
frightened by a friend, who declared that a man playing 
a woman's part would never be accepted by any 
audience, that the author played one of the characters 
himself in order to save a salary in case of a dire 

Many years afterwards, as the story-books say, a man 
went into a bank at a popular French seaside resort 
to cash a cheque. 

" How long will it take you to get this cheque 
changed ? " he asked the clerk. 

" Four days is the usual time," said the clerk, " but 
M'sieu can have the money now if he likes." 

The man with the cheque expressed his surprise and 

Myself and Others 211 

" M'sieu will understand that we do not as a rule cash 
cheques on sight," observed the clerk, " but it so 
happens that I have a discretion, and I know the name 
on this. How is ' Charley's Aunt ' ? And " — he 
dropped into EngHsh — " is the dear lady ' still 
running ' ? " 

Comyns Carr, part author with Haddon Chambers of 
" Boys Together " and " In the Days of the Duke," 
was yet another brilliant man who did not disdain to 
write popular drama. 

Art critic, editor, playwright, poet, theatrical manager, 
and bosom friend of Irving and Tree, " Joe " Carr, as 
everyone called him, occupied a unique position in literary 
and artistic London, and was one of the most popular 
figures in club and theatre life. The only time I ever 
saw him look sad was at a luncheon given to celebrate 
the turning of the New Gallery in Regent Street into a 
restaurant — it is now a cinema. Even an excellent 
lunch failed to remove his gloom, and at last the cause 
of it was explained. He pointed to a row of hooks 
which still remained in the newly decorated walls near 
to the ceiling, and embarked upon a flood of memories 
of the great pictures, the Watts, the Burne- Joneses, 
the Rossettis and the Millais that those very hooks had 
supported in the days when the New Gallery was a 
centre of the London art world, and " Joe " Carr its 
prophet, priest and king. 

Of the Gattis, Agostino and Stefano — " Angostura " 
and " Stephanotis " as some wag re-christened them — 
there is little new to be said at this time of day, and 
their innumerable ventures in the restaurant and theatre 
worlds still keep their names fresh. 

In the palmy days of the Adelphi drama the Adelaide 
Gallery had a strong theatrical clientele, and amongst 

O 2 

212 Myself and Others 

the authors regularly to be seen there were Henry 
Pettitt, George R. Sims, Robert Buchanan, Dion 
Boucicault, Brandon Thomas and many others. Salvini 
always took his meals at Gatti's when he was in London, 
and on one occasion when I was lunching there I remem- 
ber that a fine white-haired old gentleman in a slouch 
hat and a very shabby cloak was pointed out to me as a 
regular customer. He was, it was said, very poor, and 
one dish was his invariable meal, but he was an old 
Garibaldian, and because he had fought under Garibaldi 
the waiters at Gatti's treated him with more reverence, 
and pocketed his tip of a few coppers with more gratitude, 
than they would have shown a millionaire and his gold. 

In those days, Agostino and Stefano Gatti — who of 
course were of Swiss, not Italian, descent — used to 
lunch and dine together at a table near the entrance 
to the kitchen, and after their meal would adjourn to a 
big desk when they took the counters from the waiters, 
as had been their custom from the earliest days of the 

And at the Gatti's luncheon and dinner table many 
affairs other than merely restaurant matters were 

The late Colonel Newnham-Davis was fond of telling a 
good story of how a fine military melodrama never was 
produced at the Adelphi. 

Early one morning he received a telegram from his 
confrere on the staff of the *' Sporting Times," the 
brilliant but erratic " Willie " Goldberg, known to most 
of the English-speaking world of that day as " The 
Shifter," making an appointment for lunch at Gatti's. 
When the pair met at the door. The Shifter informed his 
colleague that the Gattis wanted a military melodrama 
for the Adelphi ; that he. The Shifter, had just thought of 

Myself and Others 213 

a splendid title ; that he and the " Dwarf of Blood " — 
as the Colonel was called — should write it together, and, 
finally, that the Gattis had asked them to lunch to talk 
it over. The pair then hurried into the restaurant. 
They lunched with the Gattis, and when, after lunch, 
the brothers very gently said they were ready to hear 
anything about the play the co-authors cared to tell 
them. The Shifter disclosed the title, which pleased them 
vastly, and then leant back in his chair as if the matter 
were settled. 

The cautious Gattis asked for some slight outline of 
the play, but The Shifter, taking a lofty attitude, put 
it to them that an advance on authors' fees was obviously 
the next step in the business. This, the Gattis said, 
was not the way in which they were accustomed to 
transact their theatrical ventures, whereupon The 
Shifter brought the discussion to an abrupt close by 
saying farewell. 

Out in the street again his collaborator suggested that, 
after all, it might be as well to work out a scenario to 
submit to the Gattis, but The Shifter was in high 

Wrinkling his long nose in haughty scorn : " These 
foreigners don't understand our English ways of doing 
business ! " he snorted. 

And what was the end of the great military melo- 
drama, which — who knows ? — might have rivalled " One 
of the Best." 

Another story of the Gattis' theatrical ventures is of 
their purchase of the Vaudeville Theatre. Amongst 
the brothers' many enterprises had been the installation 
of an electric light distributing plant in a building just 
behind the Vaudeville Theatre, where Tom Thorne was 
then running a far from successful season. 

214 Myself and Others 

The actor complained that his ill success was largely 
owing to the noise the engines made behind the stage, 
whereupon the Gattis promptly bought the theatre — 
or as much of it as was freehold. 

There were always interesting people to be seen at the 
Adelaide Gallery, and I well remember seeing the great 
Lord Salisbury, who was supposed to have a passion 
for a solitary chop and chipped potatoes, taking his 
lunch at a corner table in solitary state. 

When the old order passed away, John (ex-Mayor of 
Westminster) and Rocco Gatti succeeded the father and 
uncle, and still took their meals at the same round 
table where their predecessors had sat, though they no 
longer took the counters from the waiters. 

Amongst connoisseurs the Adelaide Gallery was for 
long famous for some wonderful old cognac which had 
been bought by its astute proprietors at the time of 
the Franco-German War, when stocks of old brandy 
were sold at very low prices. It was marked on the 
wine list so as to show a very small profit on its purchase 
price — and no more — and the Franco-German War was 
in a sense responsible for attracting a great number of 
fastidious clients to Gatti's. 

During the run of " Black-Eyed Susan " Agostino 
Gatti died, and for the first and only time his friends 
saw Terriss off the stage in the conventional frock-coat 
and top-hat. 

The theatre had closed and he had announced his 
intention of attending the funeral, to discover at the 
last moment that he had no clothes other than his 
invariable grey tweeds. There was nothing for it but 
to call his friends to the rescue, and they responded 
nobly. Seymour Hicks sent an exquisitely glossy top- 
hat ; Arthur Cohen, who had the reputation of being 

Myself and Others 215 

one of the best-dressed men in London, supplied a 
beautifully cut frock-coat in the height of the fashion 
in those days, and someone else contributed a gold-headed 
ebony cane. But still the mourner was short of one or 
two indispensable articles. A very shabby old pair of 
evening-dress trousers was hurriedly pressed, and all 
that was then wanting was the waistcoat. 

Now in the last scene of " Black-Eyed Susan " 
William puts his black silk scarf round his Susan's neck. 
The black silk scarf was sent for, carefully pinned over 
the tweed waistcoat, and the borrowed frock-coat was 
tightly buttoned, and the costume was complete. 

After the funeral I met the mourner at Paddington 
with a suit-case containing the old grey suit — a party 
of us were going down to stay with George Edwardes at 
Winkfield Lodge — and mounted guard outside the 
carriage while he hurriedly resumed his own clothes. 
In a very few minutes he handed me through the window 
a parcel containing the borrowed plumes, and asked me 
to give them to the stationmaster with the message 
that they would be called for next day. 

It had, I think, been Terriss's idea that Douglas 
Jerrold's famous old play should be played exactly as 
it was written, and in the traditional manner, and the 
success verified his judgment. 

And great fun it was ; Terriss sang a song, danced a 
hornpipe, and " avasted " and " belayed " in the fine 
old fashion ; as Susan, I wept and made love and was 
" faithful and true," and the rest of the company 
entered thoroughly into the spirit of the thing, to our 
own enormous enjoyment and to that of the audience. 

*' In the Days of the Duke," a beautifully produced 
play by Haddon Chambers and Comyns Carr, which 
followed '' Black-Eyed Susan," had not altogether the 

216 Myself and Others 

success it deserved, and in its turn was replaced by- 
William Gillette's play " Secret Service," which had 
previously been played in London by an American 

A brilliant and interesting personality, both as actor 
and author, was William Gillette, who will perhaps be 
best remembered by present London playgoers for his 
wonderful impersonation of Sherlock Holmes. 

" I should have had that play," sighed Beerbohm 
Tree, when his faithful friend Henry Dana entered his 
dressing-room to " report progress " on the success of 
Gillette's production, which was taking place that 
evening, but it is hard to imagine a more ideal representa- 
tive of Conan Doyle's super-detective than the fine 
American actor. 

Hating fuss and social functions, somewhat to his 
discontent Gillette found himself a social lion, and his 
polite attempts to avoid being lionized caused his 
his friends much amusement. Daniel Frohman used to 
chuckle as he told of one such attempt which failed 

A certain duchess had invited him to spend the 
Sunday at her country place some little distance from 
town, and Gillette had pleaded as an excuse that the 
only Sunday train was a very early one and that his 
doctor had insisted on a Sunday morning's rest. 

" But there is an express later in the day," urged 
the duchess. 

" I know," said the wily Gillette, " but that's the 
north express and doesn't stop at your station." 

" Oh, I'll have it stopped for you ! " said the unde- 
featablc duchess. 

And she did, and the actor lost his day of rest. 

Myself and Others 217 

" Secret Service," with its English company, was a 
big success, and a great critic wrote of the Adelphi 
audience : 

" They had once more got their Terriss, and he loved 
an honest girl, and he was shot in the hand by a rival, 
and, like Jim Bludso, he did his duty, and ' went for it 
there and then,' and that was enough for the pit." 

It was during the run of " Secret Service," on the 
sixteenth day of December, 1897, that my dear friend 
and comrade met his death at the hands of a man he 
had befriended. 


A Prophecy of Evil 

IN the year 1897 the so-called science of palmistry, or 
chirology as it was then called, was passing through 
one of its periodical vogues, and was the fashionable 
craze of the moment. 

Everyone was having his or her hand " read," and 
*' professors of palmistry " of every description, good 
and bad, began to abound. 

Shortly before Christmas, Edward Ledger, the editor 
of the " Era," asked several leading members of the 
theatrical profession to " sit " for their hands, in order 
that the results might be published in the " Era 
Almanack," and, after undergoing the operation myself, 
I promised to do all in my power to get Mr. Terriss to 
visit the palmist. 

It was not at all an easy task to persuade him. When 
I broached the subject he roared with laughter, and 
flatly refused to waste his time. But I had promised 
to do my best, and at last he grudgingly consented and 
paid his visit. 

On his return he was as sceptical as ever as to the 
value of palmistry. 

" I've got quite a nice character, Jessie," he laughed ; 
" so nice, in fact, that it seems a pity that I'm booked 
for sudden death. I'm very clever. I've got a kind 
heart, and I'm coming to a violent end. Pleasant, 
cheery person, your palmist ! " 


Myself and Others 219 

For myself, I express neither belief nor disbelief in 
the so-called science ; as a matter of curiosity I reprint 
below, by permission of the editor of the " Era," the 
readings of our hands which appeared in the " Era 
Almanack " of 1898, a few days after the murder of my 

In the same number appeared a reading of the 
hand of Sir Herbert Tree. 

In Sir Herbert Tree's case the concluding lines ran : 

" He is quite safe on the sea, Luna uncrossed and 
unstarred, he has no danger from fire — no star on 
Jupiter, but he should be careful as to falls and blows, 
a star on Head line has faded nearly out, but he has 
once been in danger of something falling on him from 
a height." 

Sir Herbert's death was caused by a fall, but in his 
case it was many years before the prophecy was fulfilled. 

As I have said, I neither believe nor disbelieve in 
palmistry, and I do not even understand the jargon 
of the science, but merely reprint these forecasts, 
warnings — call them what you will — as matters of 
curiosity, the authenticity of which is at least unim- 


Hands of Mr. William Terriss. 

" These hands possess a strong and distinct personality 
in keeping with the character of the well-known actor 
who owns them. They are large, hard and flat, with 
long fingers of the spatulate type, full of the love of 
movement, of activity and energy. The hand is more 
flexible than is usual with this type, though that is not 
to any great extent ; the spaces are wide between all 
the fingers, the thumb space particularly so in the right. 
The subject is very unconventional and independent, 

220 Myself and Others 

both in action and in ideas, but he is not adaptable or 
amenable either to people or circumstances. There is 
much generosity shown in his own time and his own 
manner, and that a rather eccentric one. He would be 
very difficult to convince, but being so would act freely 
and without stint, and would hate to be thanked for it. 
The thumb shows an immensely strong will, and great 
perseverance, very stern temper, and considerable 
impatience. The love of rule and governance is strongly 
marked in the aggressive first finger, and if it were not 
for the very excellent Heart line the hands would be 
somewhat tyrannical. The size of the hands and the 
spatulate Saturnian give much foresight and prudence, 
the dominant and spatulate Apollo his artistic capa- 
bilities, and the love of action and movement in art, 
which would turn his inclinations towards stirring 
melodrama rather than subtleties of character-acting ; 
a spatulate Apollo is always extremely forcible, there is 
no hesitation or half measures with this type of hand. 
The Mercurian finger is very fine ; it is spatulate also, 
like the Apollo, but long and straight ; it shows excellent 
business management, and, with the deep Head line, 
practical common sense and capacity, and a considerable 
want of tact and diplomacy. 

" When we come to the Mounts, we find that flat 
development that does a great deal of hard work in the 
world. The temperament is Mars and Mercury, with a 
little Apollo, a powerful combination. There is not 
much Jupiter, but little love of society, or appreciation 
of good things or luxury ; what there is of this Mount 
turns to pride, but the joining of Head and Life line with 
the flat Mount shows the subject not to be so very self- 
confident, not so much so as a Mars and Mercury tem- 
perament generally is, at least not with regard to his 

Myself and Others 221 

art, and he is more susceptible to criticism than would 
appear on the surface. A certain amount of vanity- 
will come with the development of Apollo, but it is by- 
no means excessive. The Mount of Mercury shows he 
is cheerful, especially when there is much hard work to 
do, and an appreciation of humour, which does not 
amount to wit, the Head being too straight, and Luna 
too little developed, and as a rule this temperament is 
too desperately in earnest to dawdle over the light 
fascinations of dainty wit or brilliant conversation. 

" Mars, the dominant Mount, makes the palm very- 
high and flat. It shows great courage, endurance and 
aggressiveness ; an immense determination to have his 
own way, and much disregard of other people's. The 
subject should be careful to show justice and to cultivate 
patience, otherwise the good Heart line will hardly 
prevent him from being occasionally hard upon other 
and different temperaments from his own. 

" There is but little development of the lower Mounts, 
and one of the best points of the hand is its fine outline 
towards the wrist. The outline from the base of Mercury 
to the wrist is beautifully curved, and is nearly equally 
so on the side of the thumb. The Luna being raised 
towards the Head will give him imagination in the 
carrying out of his art, and make him original and 
convincing, but the want of Venus in combination 
with it will scarcely make him imaginative in other 

" The Heart line is very deep and long in both hands ; 
the subject is very kind-hearted, a good friend, and 
extremely constant when once attached, very difficult 
to please, and a little jealous in his affections. He will 
attach himself very strongly to a very few people, and 
will stick to them all his life. 

222 Myself and Others 

" The Head line shows a very clever intellect, great 
concentration of thought and power of mind all turned 
in one direction, a certain difficulty in seeing two sides 
to a question ; much straightforwardness and practical 
sense. The memory seems rather fluctuating — good at 
recollecting some things, and not at all at others. 

" The Life line is good ; all the lines being clear and 
strongly marked give a very good constitution, and being 
much more deeply marked in the right than the left, 
show the strength has been maintained, and health 
better than the hereditary disposition promised. There 
is no illness foreshadowed at the end of the line, it ends 
very abruptly in the right. There have been two ill- 
nesses, one in the growing up, which was not strong at 
first, and one since, and at the present time the throat, 
as shown by the feathering of the line under Jupiter, 
is not at all strong, and great care should be taken of it. 
" The Fate line, on the whole, shows a very 
adventurous career, but has been very steady on its 
rise after it once got away from the obstructions of 
surrounding circumstances at about twenty-five. At 
just under thirty the line in the left doubles, bringing 
in new influences for good over the life and much success 
in the career. In the right, the Apollo line goes to 
Mercury, and breaking on the way at the Head shows 
that others attempted to cheat him or loss of money 
through others, which did not have much appreciable 
effect on the career. At thirty-five or thirty-six there 
is a change, and again just about forty, all tending 
steadily to larger influence and more monetary success. 
The line going to Mercury instead of Apollo shows that 
the subject had it in him to have attained a greater 
artistic triumph had the line been directed to Apollo 
instead, but the Mercurian line makes for worldly 

Myself and Others 223 

success, and of that there is plenty. The subject has 
two especial friends marked on the Heart line, one a deep 
friendship of at least twenty years, and the other, more 
fluctuating from circumstances, comes and goes at 

" The lines of ambition on Jupiter are strongly marked 
on both hands, one of the two in the left being discon- 
tinued in the right, and the other greatly strengthened ; 
the latter is a sign of much success. 

" There is no fear of fire or watery great preservations 
standing in the way of danger, but much of falls and blows. 
On the whole, these are the hands of a strong character, 
great originality, and are the records of a very successful 


(Since these lines were written, the dastardly and 
deplorable crime has been committed which has deprived 
the theatrical world of one of its most popular leaders, 
and the subject of the present study. The interview at 
which the drawings of Mr. Terriss's hands were made 
took place about a week before his death. One of the 
chief things Mr. Terriss inquired about was his death, 
and I told him it would be quite sudden and possibly 
violent, a declaration he repeated before others in the 
profession that same evening, and I especially cautioned 
him against an accident, but I thought it was something 
that might fall upon him from a height, and told him 
of it. But I honestly confess I could not have told from 
his hands that his death was so near and so terrible. 
We have had, thank God, but little experience in such 
cases. The hands of General Boulanger were the only 
ones I had ever seen of one who was immediately after- 
wards shot, and those of Dr. Kerwain, who was mur- 
dered, but this was after the event. I do not, however, 
think that, had it been possible to have warned Mr. 

224 Myself and Others 

Terriss, that warning would have been of any service, 
as nothing could have prevented him from the cruel and 
cowardly attack of his wretched murderer. — The 

*' The Hands of Miss Jessie Millward. 

" The hands of Miss Millward are pointed, soft-skinned 
and flexible, yet strong in their grasp and firm in the 
touch. They belong to that temperament of Venus and 
Apollo that rules the souls of their fellow creatures, 
that governs by persuasion, and controls by influence ; 
those that never seem to seek their own way yet always 
get it, and that without any very apparent effort of 
will on their part. 

" The spaces between the fingers show extreme 
unconventionality, and the thumb great generosity and 
a cultivated extravagance. It is a firm, constant thumb, 
decided in will, reasonable in judgment ; the first finger 
gives the love of rule and good sense of justice, in fact 
the dominance of Jupiter in the finger will make the 
subject hate injustice and greatly rebel if subjected to 
it. The Apollo finger, which is pointed in the left, has 
developed a conic tip in the right from the cultivation 
of her art, and the extremely long and straight Mercurian 
finger gives that great tact and the management of 
difficult people for which this character should be 
remarkable. Language is much developed in the long 
first phalanx of Mercury, as colour is in the first of 

" The Mounts on these hands are strongly developed, 
the temperament is emotional and passionate, capable 
of great self-sacrifice, and equally so of resentment, and 
even, under provocation, of inclemency. Jupiter will 

Myself and Others 226 

give her love of society and social gifts, Mercury a 
certain brightness of disposition and love of wit and 
humour ; Venus, strongly developed, the love of pleasing, 
the desire to be liked, and some little vanity, and Apollo 
in combination with this will give her a great dislike 
of seeing anyone suffer, and the desire to console and 
assist all who are in trouble. 

" The hand is rather flat, the moral courage is excellent 
and is intensified by the widely divided line of Head and 
Life, which gives much audacity and somewhat too 
quick action. This may be guarded against by the good 
sense of the thumb and the fine depth and length of 
the Head line, making the judgment, if hasty, as a rule 
sufficiently reliable, and also by the exercise of the gift 
of intuition, or spontaneous decision caused by the 
senses, which is peculiar to this temperament and often 
exercised as safeguard. 

" The Mount of Venus will also give much love of 
music, though the shape of the hands deny much execu- 
tion ; the voice should be sweet and clear, rather low- 

" The Head line in the right is much improved. The 
subject has studied much and carefully, her memory 
and her quickness of apprehension have greatly im- 
proved and are now far beyond the average. There 
is good practical common sense in many ways shown 
by this line, and it is quite capable of keeping secrets, 
and of much thoughtful diplomacy, not in business, 
but in personal management. 

" The Heart line is very affectionate ; the turn up 
towards Jupiter makes it capable of jealousy in a very 
few cases, not altogether unselfish, but a steady, constant 
friend, helpful and amiable. 

226 Myself and Others 

" When we look at the Life line, we see the subject 
has passed through a time of illness and great physical 
strain, brought on a great deal by trouble and grief ; 
the breaks on the line in the left and the crosses barred 
on the right show a period of great delicacy, now happily 
a thing of the past. The hands are altogether much 
covered with small lines, showing a very nervous 
temperament, and great care should even now be taken 
against overwork and too great mental excitement ; 
the heart is still a little delicate, and the circulation not 
very good. But as all the worst trouble in the life is 
early, so the worst of the health is also, and between 
thirty-two and forty-six the lines are all on the improve. 
At the latter age the subject will have to be careful, 
but although the line forks in the right hand, it con- 
tinues afterwards as well as before and continues to a 
good age. 

" The Fate line is altogether a Saturnian one. The 
subject is much under the rule of circumstances, and 
these circumstances have not been favourable. There 
have always been difficult people to contend against 
and obstacles to be overcome, and the temperament of 
our subject, although fortunate in friendship, is seldom 
so in love. Circumstances constrain these tempera- 
ments, and the choice is seldom the best. The line of 
Apollo, which is much broken in the left, showing the 
difficulties and trials of early life, is very good and strong 
in the right, but rises somewhat late ; the success was 
not secured without a great struggle, and is due to the 
subject's own courage and exertions. 

" There is a great preservation from -physical danger on 
the lower Mars^ and a shock to the feelings of great intensity 
in the other hand, otherwise the subject seems free from 
accident either from fire or water. 

Myself and Others 227 

" These hands show a most kind-hearted, emotional, 
artistic temperament, grounded on sterHng sense and 
practical benevolence, and the owner should be de- 
servedly popular and dramatically successful in her own 
special line of art." 

Whether there be any explanation or none, in the light 
of what happened the passages I have itaUcized have a 
curious and tragic interest for me. 

P 2 


William Terriss 

IN the course of the years that have passed, Time, the 
merciful, has softened the pain, and at last I feel 
myself able to set down as simply as possible an 
account of the terrible crime which deprived me of my 
friend and comrade, and the stage of a personality which 
was endeared to thousands. 

I feel impelled to write this sad chapter for at least 
three reasons. No account of my life could pretend to 
truth which ignored the tragedy which has coloured it ; 
but this reason is a small one, it is eclipsed by the others. 
I not only wish to pay a tribute to the memory of the 
dead, but to record the infinite kindness and love I 
received from those who, though bowed by their own 
sorrow, yet found time to think of and console me, and 
to lay a tiny laurel on the grave of that great-hearted, 
kindly gentleman, Henry Irving. 

In this sad chapter I confine myself to facts ; I do not 
attempt to explain the incidents which I am about to 
relate preceding the murder ; I merely record them. 
I did not, and do not understand them, but they exer- 
cised such a powerful influence on me at the time that 
I cannot ignore them. 

One night, three months before my comrade's death, 
I woke in a panic, calling for my maid. My dream had 


Myself and Others 229 

been a horrible one. I had heard a cry: " Sis ! Sis ! " 
in a well-known voice, and, bursting open a door, I had 
rushed into a room with bare boards in time to catch 
the falling form of Mr. Terriss. 

So upset was I that in the early morning I telegraphed 
to Mr. Terriss, who was living at Bedford Park, to come 
to me at my flat in Hanover Square. I told him the 
reason for my telegram, expecting to be laughed at, but 
he saw my distress. Later in the afternoon his brother, 
Bob Lewin, called ; the three of us dined together, and 
over dinner I told Bob of my dream. 

Six weeks later I dreamt that identical dream again, 
and once again, on the Sunday before the crime, I 
dreamt it. 

Can it be that it was a case of " coming events casting 
their shadows before them ? " And if so, to what 
purpose, for in what way could the warning have been 
turned to use ? 

But so depressed and haunted by a fear of some 
vague impending ill had I become, that on the Wednes- 
day I went to Mr. Terriss's dressing-room before the 
evening performance. 

" What is the matter ? " he asked, as he saw me. 

" I have a horrible feeling that something awful is 
going to happen," I told him. " I can't explain it. 
But I've nothing of yours for remembrance, nothing 
personal. I feel I must have something." 

He saw that I was thoroughly over-wrought, and, 
smiling, he laid his watch and chain on the dressing- 

" Take that," he said. " Your picture is inside the 

The next evening, December i6, 1897, at exactly the 
same hour — 7-40 — Seymour Hicks came to my room. 

230 Myself and Others 

" Here are father Will's watch and chain, Jessie," he 

Long afterwards I gave them to Tom Terriss, who 
still wears his father's watch and chain. 

On the day of the murder, Thursday, December 1 6, 
1897, Mr. Terriss and his old friend Mr. Harry Greaves 
dined with me at my flat in Princes Street, Hanover 
Square, at the usual hour of four o'clock, having spent 
the early part of the afternoon at the Green Room 
Club, playing poker with Fred Terry. When seven 
o'clock came I rose : 

*' I must get down to the theatre," I said. " I hate being 
rushed," and left them finishing their game of chess. 

I drove up in my hansom to the pass door in Maiden 
Lane, which opened near my dressing-room. At the 
pass door I saw standing the man Prince, whom I 
recognized as a former super. Only a night or two 
previously I had heard a man speaking in a loud voice 
in Mr. Terriss's dressing-room, and as I came out of my 
room I met him in the passage with Prince. 

I had asked him : " What is the matter ? " 

" This man is becoming a nuisance," he had told me, 
and I had guessed that it was a case of begging. 

Just as I reached the pass door Prince came towards 
me, and I half thought of giving him some money so 
that he should not delay Mr. Terriss when he arrived, 
but as he came towards me there was something in the 
man's face that frightened me, and instead of waiting 
to open the pass door I rushed to the stage door, and on 
entering my dressing-room I told my maid, Lottie, of 
my encounter with Prince. 

In the midst of my dressing I heard Mr. Terriss put 
his key in the pass door, and then there was a strange 

Myself and Others 231 

*' Something has happened ! " I cried suddenly to 
Lottie, and she rushed down the stairs, I following her. 

Mr. Terriss was leaning against the wall, near the door. 

*' Here are my keys, Lottie," he said, quite calmly. 
" Catch that man ! " 

I had just reached him when he swayed. 

" Sis," he said faintly, " Sis, I am stabbed." 

I put my arms round him to support him., when we 
both fell to the ground on the bare boards at the foot of 
the staircase leading to our dressing-rooms. 

" Mr. Terriss has met with an accident ! " I remem- 
ber calling wildly. " Send for a doctor ! " 

We seemed surrounded with people, doctors came 
running from Charing Cross Hospital, the world was 
full of whispers — and I felt that all was hopeless. 

He was lying on my right arm, and I held his hand 
in my left hand. 

We were now alone. 

He opened his eyes, and faintly squeezed my hand. 

" Sis ! Sis ! " he whispered. 

And that was all. 

Someone led me to my room. 

I remember every moment of that time. Soon 
George Edwardes, Seymour Hicks, and other friends 
had come to me, and in their own great sorrow were 
trying to comfort me. 

" Cry, my dear, cry," begged dear old Mrs. Pateman, 
but there were no tears. 

Meanwhile the murderer had rushed into Maiden Lane, 
flourishing a long knife, my faithful Lottie clinging to 
him until the police seized him. 

When he was told Mr. Terriss was dead : " Yes," 
he said ; " and I meant to kill Miss Millward, too." 

232 Myself and Others 

Mr. Terriss had never been threatened or I should 
have known of it. It was the act of a madman. 

The murderer was a short, thin, dark man, with a 
pronounced squint, whom, when he was employed as a 
super, I had often seen posing about the stage, and whom 
Mr. Terriss had assisted with money when he lost his 
position. I was told afterwards that for a week before 
his crime he had been strutting about the Strand 
boasting that in a few days his name would be on every- 
body's lips. 

At about half-past nine Lottie and I left the theatre. 
I would not drive, so we walked together back to 
Hanover Square, and as we passed up Regent Street 
the newsboys ran by crying : " Murder of WilUam 
Terriss ! Murder of William Terriss ! " 

" Don't listen. Miss Jessie," pleaded Lottie ; " don't 

" I must, I know," I said. 

There were no tears. 

I reached the flat, and sat up all night, thinking, 
thinking. Everything seemed so quiet ; I wanted to 
be alone. 

In the morning my mother, my brother and my sisters 
came to me. 

" No one is thinking of me now," I half sobbed, and, 
taking my hand, my mother led me into the dining- 
room. The room was one mass of flowers with cards. 
It was strange I could not bear the sight of the flowers. 
In the afternoon Tom Terriss came and took me to see 
his father in the mortuary at St. Martin's Church, and 
I laid a bunch of lilies of the valley in his folden hands. 
They were the flowers he always gave me. Somehow 
or other the wonderful and majestic peace in my dear 
comrade's face soothed me. Never shall I forget the 

Myself and Others 233 

kind friends who tried so hard to comfort me. The 
first telegram I opened was from Mr. Terriss's daughter 
Ella ; she was ill at Eastbourne, and Seymour had gone 
to break the news to her, yet in spite of her own great 
sorrow her first thought was of me. But how good and 
kind were all the Terriss family. His sisters, Mrs. 
Tomlin and Mrs. Stevenson, and his brothers, Colonel 
Lewin and Dr. Lewin, did all they could to comfort me 
in the midst of their own dreadful trouble, and Mrs. 
Tomhn took me to see my friend for the last time. 

As I gazed my last on my comrade, my friend, I 
thought of the last lines he spoke on the stage in " Secret 
Service " the night before his death : 

"... Until we meet again." 

And then came into my mind those glorious lines : 
" Death is the beginning of eternity." 

One afternoon my sister came to me. 

" Sir Henry Irving is here to see you," she said. 
*' Please don't refuse ; he has a message for you." 

" I will see him," I replied, and he came into my room. 

" My dear," he said, " I have just come from Bedford 
Park. I was asked to convey to the Terriss family a 
message of condolence from the Queen, and I felt that 
I must come to you to tell you how we all sympathize 
with you." Then he went on to tell me that the Prince 
of Wales had sent his equerry with a message of 
sympathy to me. 

" Is there anything I can do for you ? " he asked 

" Yes," I answered ; " I should like you to be with 
me at the funeral." 

" Of course, my dear," he replied. 

Every night after his performance of " Peter the 
Great " he came to sit an hour with me, talking of the 

234 Myself and Others 

theatre, of art, and work, and endeavouring, as I after- 
wards realized, to keep alive in me some interest in my 
profession and my life-work. 

All the Monday night my brother Frank and Seymour 
Hicks sat by my bedside, and next morning, punctually 
at half-past ten. Sir Henry Irving called, bearing in 
his hands a large bunch of violets. He, Seymour and 
I drove to Brompton together, and never can I forget 
the sea of faces as we entered the cemetery. 

The crowd was enormous, almost terrifying ; one 
paper estimated it at ten thousand. I quote from an 
old, faded, yellow cutting I have kept : 

" Miss Millward, clothed in deepest black and leaning 
on the arm of Sir Henry Irving, was the most con- 
spicuous figure at the funeral of William Terriss at 
Brompton Cemetery to-day. She was one of the dead 
actor's oldest and closest friends, and her parting kiss 
was the last thing he felt before he lost consciousness. 
She has neither slept nor cried, and has hardly eaten or 
spoken. . . . Her friends are afraid she may lose her 
reason. Amongst the immense number of floral tributes 
hers was the most regarded. It was a cushion of white 
chrysanthemums bearing in purple violets the words, 
' To My Dear Comrade,' and in the corner was a spray 
of lilies of the valley. It is believed that the death of 
Mr. Terriss will mark the retirement of Miss Millward 
from the stage. In any event, she will not appear again 
for a long time. 

" Sir Henry looked pale and careworn in the raw 
December air. He was dressed in the deepest black, 
and looked slightly bent as he supported Miss Millward. 

" Brompton Cemetery is essentially the theatrical 
one. Here Sothern was buried, with Sir Augustus Harris, 
Henry Pettitt, the beautiful Adelaide Neilson, and many 

Myself and Others 235 

other distinguished lights of the English stage. It is 
as much the custom for the London actors to be buried 
in Brompton Cemetery as for the New York actors to 
be buried from the Little Church Around the Corner. 
But never has Brompton Cemetery witnessed a more 
representative stage gathering than to-day. Every 
London theatre was represented, and there were floral 
mementoes from all the leading companies travelling 
in the provinces. The most prominent London critics 
were present, with many members of the nobility, and 
a great number of persons prominent in the theatrical 
profession. Among the mourners who followed the 
cofBn were Tom Terriss and William Terriss, junior, the 
sons of the dead actor ; Dr. Lewin, his brother ; Colonel 
Lewin, Clement Scott, George R. Sims, Sims Reeves, 
Gilbert Tate, Arthur Roberts, George Alexander, and 
twenty-four members of the Green Room Club. The 
grave is near the east wall of the cemetery, and close 
to the grave of Henry Pettitt, the playwright, whose 
success, like that of Terriss, was closely identified with 
the Adelphi. 

" Sir Henry Irving drove away with Miss Millward. 
Irving, it is said, has been greatly affected by the tragic 
death of Terriss, who supported him during his first tour 
in America and was one of his best friends. To-day he 
looked older and more careworn than ever before. Many 
persons said that he had aged ten years since Terriss's 

" Among those present, or who sent wreaths, crosses 
or cut flowers, were Lady Clarke, Lord and Lady 
Londesborough, the Dowager Lady Freake, Leopold 
Rothschild, Alfred Rothschild, Mr. McCalmont, Charles 
Wyndham^, Mr. Pinero, Mr. and Mrs. Kendal, J. Comyns 
Carr, Charles Hawtrey, Mr. and Mrs. George Grossmith, 

236 Myself and Others 

Harry Nichols, Lily Hanbury, Mrs. Langtry, Mr. and 
Mrs. Cyril Maude, Lady Meux, B. L. Farjeon, Lady 
Harris, Antoinette Sterling, E. S. Willard, Forbes 
Robertson, John Hare, Sir Edward Lawson, George 
Edwardes, Lady Jeune, Sir Henry Hawkins, Marie 
Tempest, Beerbohm Tree, Max Beerbohm, Haddon 
Chambers, Miss Fortescue, Weedon Grossmith. A 
floral tribute was received from Charles Frohman, 
inscribed : * In affectionate remembrance from one of 
the audience.' Augustin Daly also sent fiowers." 

When I saw the coffin borne to the graveside, " I will 
go home now," I said to Sir Henry ; " my brother and 
my maid will take me back." 

" My dear," he replied, with the grave and gentle 
courtesy which was a part of his nature, " I had the 
honour of bringing you here, I will have the honour of 
escorting you home." 

That same night he paid his usual visit. 

" You must go abroad, child," he said. " You must 
go away for a long holiday, in fresh scenes, and then 
you must return to the stage, and work." 

" I can never do that," I cried. " I can never return 
to the stage." 

*' You must," he said, simply ; " it is your work, 
and in work lies relief." 

He was right. And in work Henry Irving had ever 
found his own relief. 

" I sincerely hope the entire change of scene and the 
vivifying air of the Riviera may give you some rest 
and peace after the fearful strain you have had to go 
through," wrote Colonel Lewin, when he heard that I 
had at last decided to go away ; " for amid all my 
sorrow and sense of ever-abiding loss, I thought always 
it was you in truth who were most to be pitied — it was 

Myself and Others 237 

your life that would be most affected. Most sincerely 
I grieve with you and for you ; and if at any time I 
can do anything to befriend or assist you I beg you 
will count on me to do whatever lies in my power for 
the sake of him whom I loved and who certainly loved 
you more than anyone else on this earth. When that 
is said, then all is said. — Tom Lewin." 

No one has had kinder, more loyal friends than I have 
had, and the kindness and loyalty have endured through- 
out the years. Long, long after the terrible blow, on 
its anniversary there came a little note I have always 
treasured : 

" My dearest Jessie, — My thoughts will be with you 
on Christmas Day, and I shall say a prayer for you 
at Brompton to-morrow. I wish it were in my power 
to make you happier, but I fear it is not. However, 
you may always feel / love you. — Ella." 

In the course of a few weeks, the murderer's trial 
took place, and one of the witnesses was my maid, 
Lottie. She gave her evidence with her usual calm, 
but on her return to the flat the poor thing collapsed, 
and was very ill. Poor girl, all through that hideous 
time she had been so brave and so self-sacrificing. 

Prince was, of course, found insane, and sent to 
Broadmoor Asylum for life. Some time later I heard 
that he had been appointed to the position of gardener, 
and from Broadmoor he frequently wrote to actors at 
the Adelphi begging their influence to get him released 
and to secure him a part in the Adelphi play. 

At Broadmoor, for all I know, he still remains. Only 
recently did I hear of him, through the visit of an 
ex-Cabinet Minister to the asylum. In the visitor's 

238 Myself and Others 

honour a performance was given by the asylum band, 
the members of which were prisoners found insane. 
The conductor mounted to his desk, turned to the ex- 
Minister and gave him a majestic bow, then, tapping 
on his desk in manner of the professional chej d^orchestre^ 
proceeded to conduct the performance. 

That conductor was Prince, the murderer of my 

Shortly after his death there was a noble memorial 
to my friend which was strangely appropriate, and which 
is unique in the history of memorials to members of his 

A little time before his murder there had been a 
terrible lifeboat disaster off the Nayland Rock at 
Margate, and Terriss, who from a boy had spent his 
holidays at Margate and knew every boatman by his 
Christian name, suggested a subscription in the " Daily 
Telegraph " for a memorial to the brave men who had 
lost their lives. The proprietor of the paper, who 
afterwards became Lord Burnham, one of his greatest 
friends, supported the scheme warmly, and a figure now 
stands on the Margate beach of a lifeboatman looking 
out to sea, in lasting remembrance of the dead. 

With a tragic appropriateness, a little later another 
"Daily Telegraph" Fund was opened for a WilHam Terriss 
Memorial Lifeboat House at Eastbourne, and subscrip- 
tions poured in for this memorial to the murdered friend 
of the dead heroes. The foundation stone was laid by 
the Duchess of Devonshire, and in his address Sir Charles 
Wyndham paid a splendid tribute to the memory of his 
fellow actor. 

" Life, vigour, courage and devotion characterized 
Terriss the actor, as well as Terriss the man. Within 
the building of which this stone is the foundation, life, 

Myself and Others 239 

vigour, courage and devotion will be typified by the 
staunch little craft which soon here will be housed — a 
craft which can never be used without calling forth those 
noble quahties which can never be seen or even named 
without perpetuating their memory and that of him 
in whom they were all so happily conjoined ; for the 
fame of William Terriss is not the mere creature of public 
fancy, distorted by the glamour of the footlights, nor 
was it built up only on his artistic presentments. His 
own personality must be taken into account. What 
he was before the public he was to his friends in private. 
Every heroic deed of his upon the stage was just such 
as we could imagine him performing off the boards — 
nay, as on more than one occasion he did perform. 
It is impossible to conceive a grander parallel between 
the artist and the man. He lived a life as worthy and 
died a death as tragic as any man he had represented 
on the stage. But we must not dwell too long on 
mournful memories. When the soldier escorts his dead 
comrade to the grave he plays the funeral march, but 
when he turns his face back to life's work and battle 
he plays the most inspiriting music at his command. 
So it is our part with head erect to face the storm and 
stress of life, emulating the merits, not vainly lamenting 
the loss, of our departed friends. We must remember 
with satisfaction that the boat which this house will 
cover will, whenever she goes forth on her noble 
mission, immortalize the name and vitalize the spirit 
of William Terriss far more effectively than a mere 
appeal to the passer-by set in stately phrases and 
sculptured in monumental marble. On her prow should 
be inscribed those watchwords of his career : Life, 
Vigour, Courage and Devotion." 


240 Myself and Others 

And a beautiful tribute was that paid by " Punch 
" Punch " in his serious mood, reflecting public opinion 
as at times only " Punch " can : 

" Shadows we are, and shadows we pursue ! " 
That v/as the motto dearest far to you. 
Old friend and comrade, having grasped my hand, 
I mourn you lost to me in Shadow Land. 

Brave Sailor Lad ! and best of pals on earth, 

Whose triumph at your death proclaimed your worth ; 

They bore you down an avenue of woe. 

Where men and women sobbed : " We loved him so ! " 

Why did they love him ? The assassin's knife. 
With one fell blow, mangled a loyal life, 
They loved him for his honour ! Splendid Will ! 
That made a hero of our " Breezv Bill 1 " 



I go abroad. — Milan.— The peace of Venice. — Music once more. — 
Irving's message. — A conspiracy of friends. — Charles Frohman. — A " short 
engagement." — A great personality. — Business man and artist. — " Snap." 
— Frohman and Hammerstein. — The London Opera House. — " Bursting 
up Covent Garden." — A tragic mistake. — Sail for America. — The Empire 
Stock Company. — " The Conquerors." — Gus Frohman. — A friend of 
Mrs. Eddy's. — " Phroso." — Fears and a precious moment. — The matinee 
girl. — A social or an artistic success ? — " Lady Algy." — A racing tip. — 
The outsider wins. — Dan Frohman.— Richard Mansfield. — An underdone 

NUMBED, dazed, at the persuasion of Henry- 
Irving and my friends I left England to seek 
relief in travel on the Continent. 
Life seemed wholly changed for me ; the pleasant 
things which had meant so much — the music, the 
flowers of the world — had become bitter, and my art 
and work on which Irving had never ceased to lay such 
stress seemed things remote. Above all, music hurt me. 
I realised then what Swinburne meant when he sang : 

I shall never be friends again with roses, 

I shall loathe sweet tunes, where a note grown strong 

Relents, and recoils, and climbs, and closes 
Like a wave of the sea turned back by song. 

At Milan, I remember, I shunned the opera with a 
feeling amounting to a fear which was almost hysterical, 
and it was not until we reached Venice that a sense of 
the outer world and the beautiful things in life began 
to return to me. Perhaps it was Venice herself that 
soothed me. 

241 Q 

242 Myself and Others 

For some childish reason I had always pictured her as 
ablaze with sunshine, a perpetual carnival of blinding 
colour and garish music, and had grown almost to fear 
her in advance ; so, when we arrived on a grey day of 
cool, soothing rain, and I stood at my hotel window 
watching the black-hooded gondolas stealinc over the 
waters of the canal, I began at last to feel at peace. 
I think it was the soothing mystery and peace of \'enice 
that brought my sense of life back to me, and it was at 
\^enice that I amazed my patient friends by suddenly 
expressing a wish to go to the opera. Anc even the 
visit to the opera did nothing to destroy the soothing 
atr:^--^?rhere of mystery in which from the first \'enice 
hs^ ti^iciied me. 

The silent arrival oi the goncioias, with their cloaked 
and hooded occupants, the blaze of lights inside the 
theatre, the rows up - - r>f boxes v. [:'':. '\i '- beautiful 
be": . "'c-d occupants, uiit glorious musiC, ano then again. 
the sijcJit departure over the dark quiet waterways 
thrilled and enthralled me. 

My senses were alive again, the dreadful numbness 
had departed, and : ' . :'r. the black curtain which had 
fallen over the past s-. . :: . .: lerribly near it no longer 
over?.': . - ..: :.r.e future. 

Bv the time we moved to F!  , ;- I was sufficientlv 
alive to be overwhelmed by the old masters, and 
sufficiently iconoclastic to feel, with Mark Twain, that I 
nc". - anted to see another :er as long as I 

lived. Then Rome, where the wonderful scene in St- 
Peter's on Easter Sunday seemed to unseal ever%* spring 
of er. :. once more, and I returned to England 
resigned to life- 

The day after my .arrival Henry Irving called. 
I have h. .,.-.. -ich concerns yoa," he said. 


Myself and Others 243 

producing it. *' It is from my friend Charles Frohman. 
He is coming to England and has asked me to try to 
persuade you to return with him to the States to be his 
leading lady." 

I shook my head. 

" I can never act again," I told him sadly. 

He folded the letter and put it back in his pocket. 

" I understand — I understand," and he nodded 
kindly. " But, my dear, it is your work — your work," 
he repeated, " and, while v.e live, we must work." 
And then, after chatting on other things — tactful, 
crafty, worldly-v/ise, human Henry Irving — he left me, 
and I thought no more of Charles Frohman and his 
plans, but went off to stay with a dear friend, Mrs. 
Wilson, at " Watermeetings," her beautiful place at 
Elvanfoot, Lanarkshire. Mrs. Wilson was a great 
friend of Henry Irving, William Terriss, and Wilson 
Barrett — a memorial window to the memor\' of the 
last has been placed by her in Elvanfoot Church — 
and I think that she was in the conspiracy, for during 
my stay I received a letter from Charles Frohman, 
formally asking me to go to America as leading lady of 
his famous Empire Stock Company, and, the same day, 
a telegram from Irving renewing his advice. 

" At any rate," urged Mrs. Wilson, " go back to town 
and see Frohman ; there's no harm in seeing the man. 
He can't eat you. And no one can pack you off to 
America against your will." Happy is the woman 
with kind friends as kindly conspirators ! 

So I returned to town, announcing m.y return both to 
Irving and Frohman in letters which also contained a 
reiteration of my decision never to return to the stage. 
WTien I reached my flat a telegram from Frohman was 
waiting me. 

244 Myself and Others 

" Anyway, come and talk to me," it ran. 

" It's quite useless," I told my sister, but she also was 
in the conspiracy. 

" He can't carry you off to America against your 
will," she said ; " and after his kindness, and Irving's 
kindness and trouble, you can't be rude to the man. 
The very least you can do is to call and thank him." 

So I called. 

After thanking him for his letters and telegram : 
" Mr. Frohman," I said nervously, " do please under- 
stand one thing. After all that has happened, I can 
never return to the stage." 

" So ? " he said gravely. " That is a great pity." 

And then after a little silence he began talking of 
other things, and by degrees he led the talk to the 
theatre. Soon we were discussing plays and players, 
and he was telling me all about the beautiful Empire 
Theatre, New York, of the Empire Stock Company, and 
of the wonderful success brilliant Miss Maude Adams 
had just made in Barrie's " Little Minister." 

" You would have had a difficult task in following 
her," he said. " That's what I meant you to do, 

but " and he sighed. " It's a pity, a great 


And after the sigh he went on talking of all that he 
meant to do, of the plays he meant to produce, of his 
theatre ideals, of his ambitions, with the engaging and 
overwhelming simplicity of a boy. 

Clever, kind Charles Frohman ! 

The end of it all was, of course — as the conspirators 
had arranged — that when I left him I had accepted a 
short engagement. 

" It must be a short one," I told him. '* I must see 
how I foel, and if I can bear the stage again." 

Myself and Others 245 

" Of course," he replied ; " just as you like. Just 
as you like. 

And then I rose to go. 

" Mr. Frohman," I said suddenly, " when I entered 
this room I hadn't the faintest intention of accepting 
your offer — the absolute contrary, in fact." 

" Miss Millward," he replied, " when you entered 
this room I hadn't the faintest intention of your not 
accepting my offer — the absolute contrary, in fact." 

On reaching home I told my sister of the result of the 
interview, and we were still discussing it when the maid 
brought in a large envelope, saying that the messenger 
was to wait for an answer. 

I opened it. It was from Charles Frohman, and 
contained a contract for five years. So that was his 
idea of a short engagement ! 

" It's too long," I exclaimed ; " it's much too long. 
Supposing that I find I canH " 

My sister rushed at me, a pen in her hand. 

" Sign it ! Sign it ! " she cried. 

And reluctantly, scarce comprehending, I signed it, 
and I think that my guardian angel must have been 
very near to me that day. 

A rare and lovable personality was Charles Frohman. 
Like many another American business man — for, 
idealist as he was in so many ways, Charles Frohman 
was also a business man — he had hanging in his office 
a " notice to visitors," but his notice to visitors was 
typical of him. It had nothing about it of the " We're 
busy ; are you ? " " Get it over quick and get out ! " 
" If you've time to fool around, we haven't ! " type 
beloved by so many would-be hustlers. It was like 
himself, unique, and it ran : 

246 Myself and Others 

" Blessed is the man diligent in business. He shall 
stand before kings. He shall not stand before mean 


Smiling, humorous, kindly, gentle, lovable, like his 
brother, Daniel Frohman, he was also a business man, 
and many and many a player and playwright has had 
good reason to thank Providence that the Frohmans 
were business men — for in the case of both Charles and 
Daniel it meant higher salaries, higher royalties, fair 
dealing, and business methods of unimpeachable in- 

I have no patience with the theatrical *' high-brows " 
who smile loftily at this type of business, and, with a 
condescending sneer, label it " commercialism." Nothing 
I have ever seen in the theatrical world has ever dis- 
proved to me Irving's great axiom : " The theatre must 
succeed as a business, or it will fail as an art." 

It is surely possible to combine the business instinct 
and business capacity with the soul of an artist and a 
poet, and often do I think of the crippled Charles 
Frohman, standing quietly on the deck of the sinking 
" Lusitania," his arms locked in the arms of his friends, 
and of his last proud, gentle words : 

" Why fear death .? Death is only a beautiful 

At that moment the soul of the man spoke. 

" A shy, nervous, lovable man," said Sir Herbert 
Tree, discussing him with a friend, when the terrible 
news of the " Lusitania " tragedy reached London. 
" He had a yearning towards art. He was witty, with 
that dry form of humour that takes your breath away 
by its unexpectedness. I remember once, when he was 
buying some French plays — he established a sort of 
corner for them in America — and I was discussing with 


Myself and Others 247 

him American taste, he kept me amused with his 
description of some rather primitive effects which 
deHghted the audiences he knew so well. 

" ' Ah ! ' I said, * America may stand for that sort of 
thing. It is a new country.' 

" ' Was,' came the laconic reply." 

Charles Frohman's big word was " snap." If a play 
had no snap in it there was no Charles Frohman 
behind it, and a good story used to be told of the 
experience of a worried author who read on and on, 
Frohman interjecting at intervals : 

" No snap ! No snap ! " 

The worried author lost his temper. 

*' What the dickens is snap ? " he demanded. 

" I'll give you an example," said Frohman, without 
a second's hesitation. " Suppose you start with a 
scene in a flat. Husband and wife. Husband embraces 
wife, goes on journey. Lights down. Enter lover. 
Embrace. Enter husband. Husband missed train. 
Short brisk talk, no long speeches. Husband shoots 
both. Husband turns up light, and adjusts spectacles. 
* My God ! I'm in the wrong flat ! ' Curtain. Snap ! " 

A fine judge of plays, and one who understood his 
public, Charles Frohman knew exactly what he wanted, 
and wasted no time in coming to a decision. 

On one of his last visits to London, he went with a 
friend to see a new play of which much was expected, 
but little, I fear, realized. After five minutes' careful 
attention, Frohman settled himself comfortably in his 

*' This is fine ! " he said, " and I'm going to enjoy 
myself this evening ! " 

" But it's rotten bad, isn't it ? " asked the astonished 

248 Myself and Others 

" That's why. I know I haven't got to worry about 
buying it." 

And Charles Frohman's popularity in London and 
his host of English friends formed an answer to the 
stupid question that at one time was so often asked in 
London theatrical circles : " Will an American ever 
understand an Englishman ? " 

In his capacity for friendship and his cheerfulness 
under temporary setbacks he was poles apart from Oscar 
Hammerstein, for example, who, after the failure of the 
London Opera House, told the New York reporters that 
he had left London " because of the impossibility of 
conforming myself to the particular habits and senti- 
ments of the English." And Hammerstein certainly 
made few attempts to conform. 

Unlike Charles Frohman, he never understood London 
or the Londoner. He came to London with the declared 
intention of " bursting up " Covent Garden, and, with 
no knowledge of English society, regarded its traditions 
with contempt. That was his first and greatest mis- 
take ; the mistake which spelt failure. 

By bitter experience he discovered that money was 
not omnipotent. He opened the magnificent London 
Opera House on Friday, November 13, 191 1, in order, 
he declared, to prove that he was not superstitious, and 
from the first it was a lamentable failure. He resented 
the cold neglect of the public, puffed more cigar smoke, 
and when he was worried more than usual the poor man, 
too proud to admit defeat even to himself, would shut 
himself up alone in his ofhce and play the piano for 
hours on end. 

Then at last, one Sunday afternoon, Oscar Hammer- 
stein stood in Kingsway. The road was deserted, and 
he had just left his Opera House. He crossed and stood 

Myself and Others 249 

on the opposite pavement to take a farewell look at the 
monument he had erected to opera in London. 

A disappointed, down-hearted, beaten man, he seemed 
to have shrunk in stature ; his black frock-coat seemed 
too large for him, and his broad-brimmed high silk 
hat, instead of being cocked in its usual jaunty manner, 
was pulled down over his forehead. Gone was the 
defiant, self-satisfied Hammerstein who had strutted 
about the vestibule of his magnificent theatre on its 
opening night, hat on head and puffing his cigar. He 
still had his cigar in his mouth — in fact he was seldom 
seen without one. But even his cigar drooped. What 
was in his thoughts, one wonders, as he stood looking- 
at the beautiful building in which his money and his 
hopes were buried ? 

Turning on his heel, with bowed head and lifeless 
step he walked back to his hotel. He never entered his 
London Opera House again. 

There are still too many Americans — and Englishmen 
— like poor Hammerstein, who make no attempt to 
understand or appreciate another country's little ways 
and prejudices, and too few like Charles Frohman. 

So it was that under Frohman I once more sailed for 
America, and, preparatory to making my appearance 
in New York, I played for a few weeks on tour with the 
famous Empire Stock Company, opening in " The 
Conquerors " at Power's Theatre, Chicago, in September, 
1898. That first performance was an ordeal, and many 
a time in the course of it did I bitterly regret having 
yielded to Frohman's persuasiveness. 

I had been off the stage for a year, and the " behind 
the scenes " of the theatre, half-forgotten, awoke bitter 
memories which were only half slumbering. Then, for 
the first time in my life, I was alone amongst strangers ; 

250 Myself and Others 

they were the kindest of strangers, but still they were 
strangers, and, in addition I was dreadfully nervous, 
and had little or no confidence in my own powers. 
However, at the fall of the curtain the acting manager, 
Gus Frohman — a brother of Charles — tapped at my 
dressing-room door and asked to see me. 

" I'm sending this telegram about you to Charles," 
he observed, showing me a piece of paper. 

" What have you said ? " I demanded, anxiously, 
and he showed me the telegram : " Jessie Millward a 
big success." 

Like every Frohman I have met, Gus Frohman was 
kindness and consideration itself. During this short 
tour we were rehearsing Anthony Hope's " Phroso," 
with which we were to open in New York, every day, 
and playing " The Conquerors " eight times a week, so 
it was small wonder that, having been so long out of 
harness, I began to feel the strain. Early one morning 
there came a knock at the door of my room in the 
Boston hotel, and in response to my call of *' Come in ! " 
a quietly dressed, middle-aged lady entered. 

Seating herself beside me she told me that Gus 
Frohman had sent her to call on me, and that she was a 
great friend of Mrs. Eddy. I am ashamed to say that 
in those days I had not the faintest idea as to who Mrs. 
Eddy was, but in a beautifully soft and sympathetic 
voice the visitor kept assuring me that she could heal 

At last : " What is the matter with me ? " I ventured 
to ask. 

" Overwork and nerves, my dear," she replied, " but 
you'll soon be very much better." 

" I hope so," I replied meekly, with the ordeal of my 
New York debut in view. 

Myself and Others 251 

Whether it was due to the gentle little lady's sympa- 
thetic presence or not I am unable to say, but I was 
able to work from morning till night preparatory to 
ni}" first appearance at the Empire Theatre without 
feeling any very ill effects ; but perhaps those arduous 
days at the Lyceum had inured me to hard work, in 
spite of my long absence from the stage. 

On the evening of December 26, 1898, I made my 
debut at the Empire Theatre, New York, in " Phroso," 
a dramatization of Sir Anthony Hope's novel by the 
author and that gentle gentleman H. V. Esmond. 

The Frohman thoughtfulness and consideration met 
me everywhere ; my dressing-room was a beautiful 
room on the right of the stage, upholstered in gold 
brocade, and at one end of it was a tall, full-length 
mirror, with footlights. There were flowers everyw^here, 
and the air was full of kindness. But in spite of all I 
felt utterly wretched, and as I dressed the tears came 
to my eyes as I thought how I, a stranger amongst 
strangers, should miss that kindly, full-throated, warm- 
hearted old Adelphi roar as I once more set foot upon 
the scene of my life's work. Once again, in the atmo- 
sphere of the theatre, old associations came flocking 
around me, and in blank misery I made my way to the 
stage for my first entrance. 

In the first act of " Phroso " I appeared disguised as 
a boy in Greek costume, and had to walk past a window 
to make my entrance at the door in the centre of the 
stage. As I passed the window I seemed to hear a 
far-off, confused shouting, but when I stood in the 
doorway I found myself — the lonely, heart-sick stranger 
— greeted by one of the biggest, warmest and kindest- 
hearted welcomes I have ever received. 

That is another of the precious moments in my life 

252 Myself and Others 

that I can never forget. Those are the moments that 
make the player's life worth living ; my heart went 
out to that generous audience, and as a poor return I 
gave them of my utmost and my best. 

It was during the run of " Phroso " that I first met 
the American " matinee girl," and a very charming 
and very powerful young woman she is. 

After the play had been running a few days Mr. 
Frohman sent for me. 

" You've made good with the girls," he said 

I did not quite understand, but from his manner I 
felt that it was something to be proud of. 

" Is that very important ? " I asked. 

" I should think so ! " he cried, " they rule the 
matinees. ^^ 

And then he went on to explain that the actor or 
actress who made good with the " matinee girl " 
would find that at every matinee the house would be 
packed with girls. The " matinee girls " had their 
favourites, and vied with one another in the number of 
times they could see those favourites, most of them 
keeping little diaries with records of their visits. So 
you will see how important a young lady, from the 
point of view of the box-ofhce — to say nothing of the 
player — was the " matinee girl," 

As I was leaving him : " Tell me one thing more, 
Mr. Frohman," I begged. " Everybody is so kind, and 
every day I receive shoals of invitations from crowds of 
people who seem to want to do nothing but make me 
enjoy myself. I can't possibly accept a quarter of them, 
and even if I accepted the quarter I should have little 
time for serious work. Which do you want me to be — 
an artistic or a social success ? " 


Myself and Others 253 

" Whichever you like." 

" Then," I said, " I will try to be an artistic success." 

" That's what I thought," was his reply, " and, 
between ourselves, that's what I want." 

When at last " Phroso " came to an end, to my 
astonishment I found myself cast for the part of Lady 
Algy in Mr. Carton's brilliant comedy " Lord and 
Lady Algy," the play with which Miss Compton and 
Sir Charles Hawtrey drew all London to the Avenue 
Theatre. I had little or no confidence in myself, for 
while I endeavoured to make Lady Algy the smart, 
good-natured, amusing woman of the world, I had 
never appeared in such a part before, so at the end of 
the last dress rehearsal I went to Mr. Frohman. 

" I feel I'm going to be a failure," I told him, sadly, 
for after all his goodness and consideration I was every 
bit as anxious for him as for myself. " I don't think 
you ought to have cast me for the part." 

" I'll take the responsibility," he said, cheerily ; 
" I'm used to it." 

And it is a happy memory that the play, with that 
fine actor William Faversham as Lord Algy, was a 
tremendous success for everyone concerned, and in 
America from that time on my nickname has been 
Lady Algy. 

In one particular instance my identification with the 
part was profitable. At a race meeting with a party 
of friends at Sheepshead Bay I was surprised at the 
persistent way in which the " boys " from the different 
bookmakers kept coming to me to implore me to " have 
a bet." I was just as horribly ignorant of American 
racing as I was of English, and at last I asked one 
" boy " point blank why he kept pestering me. 

" Well," said the " boy " — he was really a very big 

254 Myself and Others 

man — " guess it's this way. Lady Algy in your play 
wins a fifty-to-one chance on FHckamaroo. Now if you 
bet with me, there'll be heaps of people here who'll 
follow you on the chance." 

" All right," I replied. " I'll have a bet. What have 
you got at fifty to one ? " 

I'm afraid that for the moment his respect for my 
racing knowledge fell to zero, but perhaps he was not 
accustomed to young women asking for fifty-to-one 
chances as they would ask for yards of muslin. 

" Well," he said, " there is a so-called horse running 
called Harlem Lane. You can have fifty to one about 
him, but it seems a shame." 

So five dollars " each way " went on Harlem Lane, 
after which important transaction I and my friends 
retired to tea. When we returned a blinding snow- 
storm was sweeping across the course, and nothing of 
any race could be seen. Presently I heard a voice 
behind me : 

"Guess your fifty-to-one chance won all right," it said, 
sadly, and turning, I saw the bookmaker's " boy " 
who had tempted me. 

" You don't mean to say Harlem Lane's won ? " I 
cried in tremendous excitement. 

" It sure has," was the reply, " and " — viciously — 
*' nothing but a condemned old cart-horse like him 
could ha' ploughed through this blizzard ! " 

Poor man, I forgave him his bitterness when I heard 
that any number of people had followed Lady Algy's 
lead, and that night at the theatre I found waiting for 
me innumerable boxes of flowers with notes thanking 
me for " the tip." 

After " Lord and Lady Algy" came "His Excellency 
the Governor," which Charles Frohman was under 

Myself and Others 255 

contract to produce, and he asked me if I would play in 
it, if only for three weeks. 

I agreed. " But it's perfectly ridiculous, Mr. 
Frohman," I told him ; " I can't possibly play Stella 
as she ought to be played." (Shades of Adelphi 
heroines !) 

I remember we were rehearsed by Dan Frohman, 
as Charles was finishing his season before his annual 
visit to England, and one morning before the dress 
rehearsal I called on the latter. 

" Do come to the rehearsal," I begged him. " I'm 
making a complete fool of myself, and everybody is 
laughing, but oh ! I am enjoying myself ! " 

" Go away," he smiled, " you'll be late for rehearsal. 
Dan says you're fine." 

He was present the first night — he sailed for Europe 
next day — and when the curtain fell he came to my 
room and congratulated me. 

" And, Jessie Millward," he concluded with sudden 
solemnity, " there's one thing I'm going to tell you. 
If you ever come to me and say you can play a part, I 
shan't believe you." 

It was during the run of " His Excellency the 
Governor " that I again met that great actor and curious 
personality, Richard Mansfield, who had deserted 
England for America. I had first met him on the Lyceum 
stage during one of his superb performances of Jekyll 
and Hyde, and I was now invited to a reception at 
his home on Riverside Drive. Breaking my usual rule 
I went, and found a gathering of the most celebrated 
and interesting people in New York. 

Mr. Mansfield was particularly kind and attentive to 
me, and, as he insisted on escorting me personally to 
my carriage, I felt that, much as I stood in awe of his 

256 Myself and Others 

curious and impressive personality, I really ought to 
show my appreciation of his attention and say " some- 
thing nice." 

" Mr. Mansfield," I ventured at last, very nervously, 
*' I hear everywhere that, now you have made your home 
here, you are regarded as the representative actor of 

And then as I heard my own voice stammering out 
the compliment my subconscious self scolded me for 
its fulsomeness. But : 

" Of the world, madam ; of the world," Mr. Mansfield 
corrected me politely, but very, very firmly. 

At the close of the run of " His Excellency the 
Governor," I sailed for England for a short holiday at 
home, bearing with me very happy recollections of my 
first season with Charles Frohman and the Empire 
Stock Company. 



The New York season. — " My Lady's Lord." — " Mrs. Dane's Defence." 
— My protest. — Charles Frohman gets his way. — Wten I come to my 
own. — Clement Scott. — Cheerful and comforting ! — My favourite hobby. — 
Henry Arthur Jones. — " Diplomacy." — " Marie Bancroft's part is the 
best." — Madame Sarah Bernhardt. — Why she never learnt EngUsh. — She 
makes herself understood. — The divine Sarah and the reporter. — A 
clairvoyant's prophecy. — Its fulfilment. — Leo Dietrichstein. — True French 
blood. — A full-fledged star. — Impudence. — A new departure. — American 
" vaudeville." — Sir Charles Hawtrey. — Sir Herbert Tree breaks the 
English ice. — Call-boy etiquette. — "A Queen's Messenger." — Acrobats as 
admirers. — Miss Marie Lloyd. — A " movie " defiance of convention. — 
" The School for Husbands." — Home. — Death of Sir Henry Irving. 

AFTER a short holiday at home I returned to New 
York in the autumn, and with the Empire Stock 
Company opened at Power's Theatre, Chicago, 
with " Lord and Lady Algy," touring the big cities and 
drawing nearer and nearer to New York as the time 
approached for the commencement of the usual New 
York season, which lasted from December to May. 

The first play of the season was " My Lady's Lord," 
by Harry Esmond, who crossed the Atlantic to supervise 
the production. In " My Lady's Lord " I created the 
part of Lady Doura, but the play did not achieve the 
success it deserved, and was followed by " Mrs. Dane's 
Defence," by Henry Arthur Jones. 

Better accustomed as I was by this time to Charles 
Frohman's methods I was rather surprised to find myself 
cast for the part of Lady Eastney, and suggested mildly 

257 R 

258 Myself and Others 

that the anguished Mrs. Dane was more after the parts 
in which I was known at home. 

" See here," he said, " Miss Mary Moore is Charles 
Wyndham's leading lady, and she played Lady Eastney. 
The part was good enough for her." 

" It's not a question of the part being good enough," 
I protested, " it is whether I am suited to it." 

" And besides," he went on, cutting me short, " we 
want you in comedy over here." 

Of course I yielded. Charles Frohman usually got 
his way, but I could not resist one little comment. 

" I wonder," I said, " what my real line of business 
is. On the other side of the Atlantic I am called an 
emotional actress, and I'm told there that the public 
insist on seeing me in emotional parts. Here I am a 
comedienne, and you tell me that the American public 
insist on seeing me in comedy. Where do I come to 
my own ? " 

" Possibly in the middle of the Atlantic ! " he laughed. 

While I had begun to have immense confidence in 
Frohman's judgment I still had occasional qualms as 
to my fitness for my new role, and I was not reassured 
in the least when shortly before Mr. Jones's play was put 
into rehearsal I met Clement Scott, who was on a visit to 
New York. 

*' Well, Jessie," was his greeting, *' Jones has written 
a great play, and I'm glad that you are to have your 
chance as Mrs. Dane." 

" But I'm to play Lady Eastney," I told him. 

He stared at me in very unflattering surprise. 

*' Well," he said, " I wouldn't pay sixpence to see 
you in comedy ! " 

Cheerful and comforting, was it not ? 

But Frohman was a better judge of the American 

Myself and Others 259 

public and of my little abilities than Scott, and the 
Lady Eastney of the American production pleased the 
big American public and had heaps and heaps of nice 
things said about her, for which she was intensely 
grateful. It is always pleasant to have nice things said 
about one, and I have sometimes thought that if I were 
suddenly asked my favourite hobby, I might, in an 
unguarded moment, reply quite truthfully : " Listening- 
in to compliments." But they must be real compli- 
ments, not make-believe ones. It was through acting 
in " Mrs. Dane's Defence " that I first met its brilliant 
author, Mr. Henry Arthur Jones, and for that reason 
alone I look back on my appearance as Lady Eastney 
with pride and affection. 

In my humble opinion, " Mrs. Dane's Defence " is a 
very great play indeed, and its production forms one of 
the landmarks of the modern stage. At the time it 
provoked much discussion, and more than once it was 
asked whether the author was using the Sir Daniel 
Cartwright or the Lady Eastney to express his own 

In a hitherto unpublished letter, written in 1 901, 
which is before me as I write, and which I have his 
permission to quote, Mr. Jones says : 

" In reply to your question as to whether I am 
speaking through Lady Eastney's lips or through 
Sir Daniel Cartwright's lips in the last act of ' Mrs. 
Dane's Defence,' my answer is that my own opinions 
have nothing to do with the matter. I have merely 
given, I hope, fair expression and fair play to the two 
opposite sides of the question, the man's and the 
woman's. It is obvious that these two points of 
view must always be more or less opposed to each 
other. It is, of course, also obvious, as you say, that 

R 2 

260 Myself and Others 

' Convention must win almost invariably in the end '; 
but this is only because all the great laws that govern 
human conduct are necessarily highly conventional. 
The sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments are 
highly conventional rules of conduct ; to go against 
them does not so much imply unconventional 
behaviour as unsound morality. With regard to the 
ending of the play, I wished that the final impression 
should be one of calm and hope, and not of despair. 
I think it is bad art to leave the audience disturbed 
and distressed at the final fall of the curtain. — With 
sincere regards, faithfully yours, Henry Arthur 

The New York season was to conclude with an 
all-star production of " Diplomacy," and with a 
twinkle in his eye Charles Frohman asked me which 
part I would play — Dora, created in London by Mrs. 
Kendal, or the Countess Zicka, created by Lady 

" Marie Bancroft's part is the best," he said. 
I read the play, and for once I agreed with him and 
immediately chose the part of Zicka, although I knew 
that I was undertaking no light task, for in America that 
splendid actress Rose Coghlan had for years been 
identified with the part, and any fresh interpreter would 
naturally lay herself open to severe criticism and com- 

A week before my appearance I was at a reception 
given by Miss Marbury and Miss Elsie de Wolff at their 
charming house in Irving Place, and there I met 
Madame Sarah Bernhardt. Ever since — many years 
before — I had seen her as Camille, I had worshipped the 
great French artist, for her performance as Camille first 
opened my eyes to the wonderful possibility of sinking 


Myself and Others 261 

oneself into a character and entirely losing one's own 
identity. Camille had lived before me, and Bernhardt 
had lived and suffered as Camille. Later, three times 
in one week I went to see her as La Tosca during one 
of our vacations at the Adelphi, and I would return 
home exhausted myself after that wonderful torture 
scene. She was, of course a frequent visitor at the 
Lyceum, and often and often would I gaze furtively 
at her box from the stage and marvel at her. 

Therefore I was nervously flattered and excited 
when I found that she remembered me and asked to 
meet me. We chatted for a time through an inter- 
preter, and she reminded me of many of the parts I 
had played at the Lyceum. Then she said that she 
had heard that I was to play in " Diplomacy," and 
asked what part I had selected. I told her that I had 
chosen the part of Zicka. 

" Wise girl," she said, nodding her head ; " that is 
the part." 

And then I summoned up courage and asked her why 
she, who could do nearly ever\T:hing, and had such 
multitudes of admirers in England and America, had 
never learnt English. 

She laughed. 

" Madame has never had the time," explained the 

Wonderful Sarah Bernhardt ! 

When a critic on a New York paper hinted delicately 
that her frizzy hair was false and that her teeth were 
too good to be her own, she called on him, and letting 
down her hair before him : 

" Pull eet ! " she exclaimed. " Is eet real or not ? " 

And then, taking his finger, she bit it. 

" Are zey false ? " she demanded. 

262 Myself and Others 

At all events the great Sarah knew enough English 
to make herself understood. But another descriptive 
reporter, I fancy, drew on his imagination when he 
wrote that with some difficulty he had penetrated the 
great tragedienne's hotel sitting-room to make enquiries 
as to her future arrangements, and had asked, among 
other things, whether she intended visiting all the 

" Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, 
Minneapolis, sure — but nix on the punk towns," was the 
reply that the divine Sarah was reported to have given. 

The American reporter is a splendid fellow, but his 
bump of veneration is — to put it mildly — not over- 
developed, as a little cutting from a criticism of a vaude- 
ville performance which I have preserved will show : 

" At the Theatre this week are Hiram Van 

and his chorus bevy of Beef Trust Beauties. 

Hiram's own figure don't leave much room for scenery 
while he is on the stage." 

Nor was the divine Sarah by any means the only 
theatrical victim of the amusing, resourceful American 
reporter about this time, for not very long after the 
Bernhardt incident Mrs. Langtry, then Lady de Bathe, 
paid a visit of inspection to her ranches at Los Angeles, 
and became the subject of a " scoop." 

Very quietly did a famous journalistic " hustler," 
whose smiling boast it was that he could travel any- 
where on his gold teeth, follow her on her travels, and 
at last he overtook her at a level crossing. Cheerfully 
pulling off his hat he was about to introduce himself and 
ask for a " story " when the Jersey Lily touched his 
arm and said : " For goodness' sake, stand further 
back ! There's a train coming ! " 

It was enough. 

Myself and Others 263 

And a few hours later all New York was staring at 
the flaming bills : 




" Diplomacy " was a great success, and Miss Margaret 
Anglin's performance of Dora, which followed 
immediately on her triumph as Mrs. Dane, proclaimed 
her one of America's greatest actresses. 

At the end of the New York season I once again 
returned to England, and, with Arthur Collins, secured 
the English rights of Marion Crawford's play, " In the 
Palace of the King," and Clyde Fitch's " The CHmbers," 
both of which had been big successes in the States. 
During this holiday I made up my mind to remain in 
England, but it was not to be, and my next visit to 
America was attended by some curious circumstances. 
One afternoon two girl friends who were lunching with 
me announced that they were on their way to visit 
a clairvoyant. 

" Do come with us," one of them pleaded, " it's 
awfully exciting, and she tells you the most extraordinary 

" Rubbish," I said, " you neither believe anything of 
the kind ! " 

However, they persuaded me to accompany them to 
a house in North Kensington, where I sat in a sort of 
waiting-room while my friends had their interviews. 
Each came back looking slightly bewildered, declaring 
that it was very astonishing, and then I was persuaded 
to take my turn. 

I entered the mystic chamber and soon found myself 
seated opposite a little, dark woman, who sat huddled 
over a crystal, into which she peered. At last : 

264 Myself and Others 

" I see a star over your head," she said, in a curiously 
monotonous tone, " and you have crossed the water, and 
are in a city with very high buildings. I see a little, 
round, fat man at a table. He is smoking a huge cigar, 
and he suffers much from pains in his head. He is 
surrounded with manuscripts, and he wants you to 
help him, and if you do not he will not use them. You 
will get a telegram from him, possibly at midday, and 
when you see him he will first apologize for not writing, 
but he writes so badly." 

After this, and some more which didn't particularly 
impress me, and which I do not remember, I rejoined 
my two friends, who seemed to expect that I ought to 
be extremely enthusiastic. 

" It's utter rubbish," I told them. " From what I 
could make out she said I am going back to New York, 
and I haven't the faintest intention of doing so." 

That, I remember, happened on a Friday, and I had 
dismissed the matter from my mind when on the 
following Tuesday at midday I received a telegram 
from Charles Frohman asking me if I could possibly see 
him at two o'clock that afternoon at the Carlton. 

I called, and when I was shown into his room, in spite 
of myself I started. 

Sure enough, here was the little, round, fat man, 
smoking the huge cigar, and continually mopping his 
head — poor man, he suffered agonies at times — and, 
strangely enough, his first words were an apology for 
his abrupt telegram. 

I sat opposite him. 

" One moment, Mr. Frohman, " I said, as he was 
about to speak. " You want me to come back to the 
States, and you have a play, and if I don't play in it 
you won't take it ! " 

Myself and Others 265 

He looked up in astonishment. 

" Who told you that ? " he demanded. 

" Never mind," I replied. " Then it is true ? " 

" Certainly it's true, but I haven't mentioned it to a 
soul. I've got an option on the new play which is to 
be produced at the Haymarket Theatre, an adaptation 
of "The Ladies' Battle," called "There's Many a 
Slip," and if you don't take the part Miss Ada Rehan 
wants the play and I shall let her have it." 

Very well, Mr. Frohman," I said, " I'll play it." 
Good," said he, and I could see that he was very 
much surprised at my quick acquiescence, especially 
as I knew nothing of the part. And then we talked 
about the play. 

I rose to go, and as I was leaving I turned to him : 

" I suppose you will laugh at me, but I got all this 
information from a clairvoyant." 

" I'm not laughing," he said. " I'm the winner." 

It seemed a pity that the clairvoyant did not see a 
little more, for the play was not a big success. I was 
on the Atlantic when it was produced at the Haymarket 
with Miss Winifred Emery in the part I played in 
America, and apart from its psychic associations 
its chief claim to my remembrance is that in it I was 
first associated with that brilliant author and actor 
Leo Dietrichstein, whose " Great Lover " is a recent 

If not exactly a clairvoyant, Leo Dietrichstein prided 
himself on his powers of intuition. 

I was lunching with him and his wife one day when he 
observed, a propos nothing : 

" Miss Millward, I feel sure you are of French 

" Why ? " I asked. 

266 Myself and Others 

" You have so many little actions and ways which 
remind me of a French actress." 

Of course I felt very flattered. 

" Well," I admitted, " I am of French origin." 

" What did I tell you ? " he cried triumphantly, 
turning to his wife, and then, to me : " Again and again 
I've told my wife that I was certain you had French 
blood in your veins. I felt it, and I knew I could not 
be mistaken. I never am when I feel like that." 

" You weren't," I assured him solemnly, " my 
mother was a Miss French — of Cheltenham." 

Which merely goes to prove that some intuitions, 
while perfectly correct, are occasionally ambiguous. 

At the end of " There's Many a Slip " I was " lent " 
by Charles Frohman to Henry Miller, the distinguished 
father of Gilbert Miller, a fine actor and a brilliant 
manager. Henry Miller was an Englishman, and later, 
in 1909, appeared at the Adelphi in his famous American 
success " The Great Divide." I was " lent " to create 
the part of Helen in Richard Harding Davis's play, 
" The Passing of Helen," and I thoroughly enjoyed my 
association with Mr. Miller. I had previously been 
warned that, though a delightful and clever man, he 
had a notably violent temper, but all I can say is that 
I never saw it, though on one or two occasions he would 
have been perfectly justified in showing it. 

Returning to New York I appeared as a full-fledged 
" star," which meant seeing in huge electric letters over 
the theatre the name : " Jessie Millward " — at first a 
somewhat embarrassing but a very pleasant experience. 
Once again I created in America a part created in 
England by Miss Compton, Mrs. Tracey Auberton in 
Claud Carton's " A Clean Slate," and then, greatly 
daring, I played Beatrice in " Much Ado about 


Myself and Others 267 

Nothing " during a special engagement with the Century- 

William Winter, Irving's old friend, wrote a very- 
flattering criticism of my performance, adding that 
while, of course, Ellen Terry was the ideal Beatrice, 
my reading of the part came near to hers. 

And so it ought to have done, for not only had I 
played Hero to her Beatrice for some hundreds of times, 
but I had also understudied her, and, with my usual 
habit of picking all brains worth picking (in remem- 
brance of that conversation with the matron of the 
drama), I considered that I had given almost an 
imitation of the divine Ellen. It was very impudent, 
of course, and I should never have dared to have done 
it at home, any more than I should have dared to play 
Beatrice, but just as I have always considered Ada 
Rehan's Katharine the only possible and perfect one, 
so do I regard Ellen Terry's Beatrice. To those who 
remember it in its perfection there can be no other. 

About this time, to my surprise, I was continually 
receiving offers from managers to appear on the music- 
halls, or, as the Americans put it, " in vaudeville," in 
any one-act play I chose, the stipulation being that the 
play was only to last twenty minutes. Offer after 
offer I declined, for in those not very far-off days the 
line between the so-called legitimate and illegitimate 
stage was still very sharply drawn, and I am afraid that 
we who called ourselves legitimate artists were 
apt to look down upon the music-hall as the abode of 
performing animals and red-nosed singers. 

One afternoon in New York the telephone bell in my 
hotel sitting-room rang, and after listening to the 
message I replied " No ! " very curtly, and then, 
turning to my guest, a well-known American lawyer : 

268 Myself and Others 

" These music-hall people are eternally pestering me,'* 
I said. " Some people called Keith and Procter have 
just rung up and asked me if I would appear at their 
Fifth Avenue Theatre. It's too absurd to consider 
for a single moment." 

" What sort of terms did they offer you ? " he asked 

" The terms are as absurd as the idea," I replied, 
and told him the sum, the size of which appalled him. 

" Good heavens ! " he cried, " I'd do anything for 
that — short of murder ! Why on earth don't you accept 

And then he went on to explain the changing outlook 
in America on vaudeville, the desire of the big vaudeville 
managers for a change in the class of performance, and 
wound up by telling me of the beauty and comfort of 
Keith and Procter's theatre. 

So impressed was I that I rang up Keith and Procter, 
told them that I had changed my mind and that I would 
accept their offer. A little later my 'phone rang again, 
and I found that the speaker was none other than the 
present Sir Charles Hawtrey, who was over in New York 
on a visit. 

" I hear that you are going to appear in vaudeville," 
he said. 

" Yes," I replied, and told him of my offer. 

" Well," he answered, " I've also just had an offer." 

" Then you play the first week, and I'll play the 
second," I suggested, and so it was arranged. 

As I have said, in those days it was an innovation for 
a legitimate actor or actress to play on the music-hall 
stage, and I believe that Sir Charles Hawtrey and I 
were almost the first to do so in America. It was not 
for some years afterwards that in London the cachet 

Myself and Others 269 

was finally given to the halls, and the tradition broken 
once and for all, by the appearance of Sir Herbert 
Tree at the Palace Theatre in 1912 in Kiphng's "Man 
Who Was," although by 191 2 nearly every prominent 
American actor or actress had appeared in vaudeville at 
one time or another. 

And in English theatrical circles Sir Herbert's invasion 
of the " halls " created quite a mild sensation, and many 
were the stories told. 

On the evening of his first performance the folk 
behind the scenes were, it was said, very perturbed as 
to the exact mode of address to adopt towards the 
great actor, and grew more and more nervous as the 
time for his turn approached, and stories of Sir 
Herbert's vague notions of time recurred to them. In 
vaudeville, with its constant succession of turns, " time 
is of the essence of the contract," and as the minutes 
drew slowly on, and there were no signs of the " star," 
the world behind the stage became very nervous and 
highly-strung. At last a resourceful call-boy saved 
the situation. 

Dashing round to the "star's" dressing-room he banged 
loudly on the door. 

" 'Urry up, 'Erbert ! " he bawled. " Woodward's 
seals is nearly through ! " 

For my first appearance I chose a one-act play, " A 
Queen's Messenger," by Hartley Manners, the clever 
author of " Peg o' My Heart," played in England by 
Miss Granville and Mr. Aubrey Smith, and terribly 
nervous and anxious I was when the curtain rose on 
my first turn. Fortunately all went well, and I 
thoroughly enjoyed myself, seeing very little, if any 
difference between the music-hall audience and the 
audience to which I had so long been accustomed. One 

270 Myself and Others 

thing that particularly struck me was the clever arrange- 
ment of the vaudeville programmes ; not only did the 
different items never clash, but each turn was introduced 
in a suitable atmosphere. For example, to get the 
atmosphere of " The Queen's Messenger " the little 
play was always preceded by a serious and very fine 

During this engagement I appeared twice daily 
— at three-forty in the afternoon and at nine-forty in 
the evening — and before and after my performance I 
was always wildly interested in the other items in the 
programme, and used to send my maid Lottie down to 
find out and to report to me what was going on on the 

One afternoon she came back to the dressing-room 
with pursed lips and a frown of disapproval. 

" What turn is on ? " I asked her. 

" Some — some acrobats, Miss Jessie," she sniffed. 

" I love acrobats," I cried excitedly, " I'll run down 
and watch them from the wings. 

She made to stop me. 

" I don't think you'd like these acrobats, Miss Jessie. 
They're not at all — wzV^." 

" How many ate there ? " 

" Oh, a lot." 
What are they, men or women ? " 
All sorts," she replied, primly. 

" What ages ? " 

" All ages." 

By this time my curiosity was fairly aroused. 

" Well, I'll go and see for myself," I answered, and 
pushing past her went to the wings, to find that the 
" acrobats " were a troupe of monkeys dressed as 
Chinese laundrymen. For a little time I stood at the 

Myself and Others 271 

side of the stage much amused, and then I noticed that 
something seemed to have gone wrong with the laundry 
business. I could hear an invisible trainer expostulating 
with his " artists," and then I noticed that all the 
" artists " were gazing in my direction, and" the 
" star," a huge, sinister-looking ape in Chinese cos- 
tume, was slowly making his way across the stage 
towards me. 

" Please go away, Miss Millward," begged the voice 
of the stage manager in my ear. " The monkeys have 
seen you, and you've fascinated them so that they 
won't go through their performance ! " 

I was wearing a glittering gown and head-dress, and 
the glitter had attracted my fellow performers— but 
not everyone can boast of having fascinated a troupe of 
monkeys ! 

Vaudeville is very strenuous work indeed ; your 
effect must be made at once, and the whole time 
you are on the stage the pressure must be kept up to the 
topmost notch, but the experience, if rather exhausting, 
was most valuable and interesting. 

Still, in my first experience of the work in America, 
I felt very much inclined to agree with a charming and 
bright little lady who one day stopped me in a New 
York street. 

" I'm Marie Lloyd," she said. " I'm the head-liner 
this week at Brooklyn ; I see you are next." 

" Yes," I said ; " this is my maid, Lottie ; she's 
English, too." 

" Oh how do you do, my dear ? " cried Miss Lloyd, 
and to Lottie's astonishment shook her warmly by the 

" And how do you like America, Miss Lloyd ? " I 

asked her. 

272 Myself and Others 

" Oh, it's all right," she replied, " but everybody is 
in such a bally rush ! " 

Miss Marie Lloyd was right. 

It is indeed curious nowadays when one reflects that 
a very few years ago indeed it was considered beneath 
the dignity of the legitimate artist to appear on the 
films, just as it had been previously considered 
beneath his or her dignity to appear on the halls, 
and in England it was again Sir Herbert Tree who 
defied convention and established a precedent when for 
a huge fee he performed his version of " Henry VHI " 
before the camera. Again, innumerable were the 
criticisms, and one gentleman, who had attained some 
little notoriety over a " press stunt " in which a police- 
court case over an alleged matinee hat nuisance had 
figured, was very caustic in his remarks about " lowering 
the dignity of the drama." 

When he was told of the criticism Sir Herbert 

" All I know is that I've enjoyed the experience 
immensely," he chuckled. " The money is in my 
bank, and I think that the gentleman in question is 
talking through his matinee hat." 

At the time of my vaudeville experiences a costume 
comedy, " The School for Husbands," by an English- 
man, Stanlaws Stange, had made a great success at 
Palmer's Theatre, Broadway, and I liked the play so 
much that I counted myself very fortunate in being 
able to secure the English rights, especially when Mr. 
Stange told me that I was the one English actress he 
wanted for the part of his heroine. I had begun to 
feel a longing for home, and a desire to appear before 
an English audience in roles totally unlike those in 
which they had been accustomed to see me — " and," 

Myself and Others 273 

I said to myself, " if Charles Frohman and the American 
public like me in comedy, I don't see why my own folk 
should not." 

So I arranged to take the beautiful Scala Theatre for 
a season from an old friend, Dr. Distin Maddick, whom 
I had first met during my three years at Drury Lane, 
where he was the kindly theatre doctor. 

I sailed for home in the late autumn of 1905, full of 
high hopes, but my home-coming was soon saddened 
for me by the death of one to whose memory I can 
never sufficiently discharge my debt of love and 
gratitude — Henry Irving. 

" Into Thy hands, O Lord ; into Thy hands." 

How often had I heard Henry Irving repeat those 
lines in " Becket," and those were the last words the 
great actor and great man spoke upon the stage — the 
words with which he took farewell of the art he had 

The swift, merciful and painless ending to a long, 
brave struggle against ill health and the caprice of 
fortune is now a matter of theatrical history. 

More and more had he begun to feel the physical 
fatigue of his work — he, the indefatigable, tireless 
Irving. " The Bells " had been withdrawn from his 
repertoire, as involving too much strain ; his faithful 
friends did all that he permitted them to do to lighten 
his labours, but the indomitable spirit still wore out the 
fragile body, and on his return from his last performance 
of " Becket " at the Theatre Royal, Bradford, he 
collapsed in the hall of the hotel, and died in the chair 
into which he had sunk exhausted. 

That chair is now a treasured possession of Seymour 

274 Myself and Others 

" My dear Jessie " — he wrote me — " It is quite 
true I have possession of the chair Sir Henry Irving 
died in. It was presented to me by the Midland 
Railway directors, and it stood in the outer hall of 
the Midland Railway Hotel at Bradford. Sir Henry 
Irving drove up to the door in a four-wheeled cab, 
and as he was assisted out of it, having been taken 
desperately ill at the theatre at the end of the per- 
formance of ' Becket,' he collapsed, and was assisted 
into this chair, in which he breathed his last. When 
it was found that he was dead, he was carried up a 
short flight of stairs and laid upon the sofa in the 
lounge, after which he was placed on the floor. 
The chair was marked in pencil by the hall porter, 
there being twelve others like it at the hotel, and was 
initialled by the directors at my request. It is now 
in my possession. — Very kindest remembrances, 
yours ever, Seymour Hicks." 

His body was brought to his London flat, and then 
taken to the home of his kind old friend Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts, and now, as I write these lines, the 
last treasures of that famous house have been dispersed ; 
house agents' boards proclaim that all is changed, and 
dust dims the windows in Piccadilly through which the 
historic white china cockatoo used to glare fixedly at 
the Green Park. 

On the afternoon of Thursday, the 19th of October, 
I met the faithful Bram Stoker, and the no less devoted 
Norman Forbes, who told me that the coffin was to 
leave the Baroness's house for the Abbey that night about 
eight o'clock, and with them I took my stand in the 
silent crowd some little time before the appointed 

Myself and Others 276 

Suddenly the traffic stopped, all heads were bared, 
and passing slowly through the gloom of a London 
October evening came the hearse, with four huge 
crimson wreaths, followed by one carriage containing 
Harry and Laurence Irving, and the devoted valet 
Walter. It was poignantly impressive, that sad little 
procession moving slowly along Piccadilly in semi- 
darkness, through the waiting, silent crowd to the 
Abbey. And on the morrow they laid his ashes in that 
" Poets' Corner " where the statue of Shakespeare looks 
down on the tombs of Henry Irving, David Garrick 
and his wife, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, and 
those others of the great-minded dead who did so much 
with their lives to ennoble their art and language. 

s 2 


" The School for Husbands." — Disadvantages of loyalty. — Some curious 
theatrical history. — Mr. Henry Arthur Jones. — " The Hypocrites." — An 
actress's qualifications. — America again. — Miss Doris Keane. — The three 
great essentials. — A fascinating experience. — A regret and Sir Arthur 
Pinero. — Anxious moments. — I consult King Solomon. — His Majesty 
speaks his mind. — I make a prophecy to Mr. Jones. — Success. — My 
prophecy confirmed. — Entering into the part. — Marriage. — A brother's 
compUments. — A compUment in verse. — John Glendinning. — Buying a 
play. — A pleasant town. — Vaudeville. — " Mr. Fitzsimmons, the eminent 
boxer." — A pugiUstic play. — Professional jealousy. — Women at boxing 
matches. — A poison mystery. — The fatal draught. — " Cleopatra's " am- 
bition. — Home. — " The Rosary." — Shattering an illusion. — War. 

THERE is no kinder, more loyal public than the 
British public, but its very loyalty sometimes 
makes it intensely conservative, and " The School 
for Husbands " had not quite the success one had hoped 
for it ; partly, I think, because the audience could not 
understand why the Jessie Millward they had known 
and been so good to at the Adelphi should be playing 
in comedy. 

I was told that night after night the attendants at 
Dr. Distin Maddick's beautiful theatre would hear the 
same disappointed comment : 

" Oh, yes, it's very nice, of course — but it's a comedy ! " 
and the critics, though equally kind, echoed the com- 

'* Miss Millward proves herself to be a brilliant 
comedienne," wrote one of them generously, " but — " 


Myself and Others 277 

and the " but " seemed always the same — " when are 
we to see her again as the familiar and adorable perse- 
cuted heroine ? " 

This loyalty to the past in its very kindness was 
disturbing, for players are, after all, only human, and 
the loyal audiences and kindly critics overlooked the 
sad associations and painful recollections evoked by the 
old familiar parts. I had long determined that never 
could I go back to them, and Charles Frohman had 
backed me in my decision. 

And in spite of its occasional drawbacks, the con- 
servatism of the great British public had its inestimable 
advantages — once that public has taken you to its heart 
it never forgets you. Tradition plays a part, and a 
kindly part, In the life of the theatre-going public of 
Britain, and the younger generation of playgoers are 
by no means contemptuous of it, even if they are 
at times quite pardonably inclined to mix their 

For instance, it was during my season at the Scala 
that in the lounge of the hotel in which I was staying 
I chanced to overhear an interesting little piece of 
theatrical history. 

The historian was a young gentleman, one of those 
inconsequential talkers who are fond of discoursing 
loudly in public places for the benefit of everyone within 
earshot. The conversation had evidently been upon 
theatrical topics, and presently someone asked him his 
opinions of the Scala. 

" Oh, structurally and decoratively it is a beautiful 
house," said he, " and I'm glad to see that the manage- 
ment is reverting to the style of comedy with which 
the place won immortality — I mean such plays as 
' Money,' ' Caste,' ' The School for Scandal ' and all 

278 Myself and Others 

the rest that Marie — er — Marie Lloyd first made her 

name in." 

Shades of the Bancrofts and the old Prince of Wales 
Theatre ! 

But I had no reason to regret my season at the Scala, 
for it led indirectly to a renewal of my association with 
Mr. Henry Arthur Jones. 

Mr. Jones came several times to see my excursion 
into comedy, and one afternoon came round to my 
dressing-room and asked me if I would call and see him 
at his house in Portland Place in order to discuss a play. 
Naturally I felt delighted, and the next morning at 
eleven o'clock punctually I was on his doorstep. His 
first words gave me a mild surprise. 

" Miss Millward," he said, " would you object to play 
the part of a mother — a well-preserved woman of, say, 
forty-five ? " 

" Object ! Good gracious, no," I replied. 

" Good. So many actresses do object, I find." And 
then he went on to tell me that Charles Frohman was 
very anxious for me to return to the States. I frankly 
admit that I was disappointed. After my long absence, 
I had hoped to be able to settle down once more in my 
own home. However, Mr. Jones read his play to me, 
and I was both delighted and fascinated. 

*' What have you called it ? " I asked. 

" ' The Hypocrites.' " 

" A splendid title. But, Mr. Jones " — for a sudden 
fear had struck me — " I've never played a part of this 
t}'pe before ; how can I play the part of the mother 
as you have created it ? I've never been one." 

" An actress has imagination," he replied. " Surely 
it isn't necessary for a lady to commit a murder in order 
to play Lady Macbeth ! " 

Myself and Others 279 

So I joyfully accepted the part, and a few days later 
the company met and the author read the play, and it 
was in Mr. Jones's drawing-room at Portland Place that 
I first met my future husband, John Glendinning, who 
was cast for the part of the only character who was not 
a hypocrite. 

The English company which sailed for America 
included John Glendinning, J. H. Barnes, Arthur Lewis, 
Leslie Faber, myself and Mr. Jones's daughter, and the 
only two Americans in the cast were Richard Bennett 
and Miss Doris Keane, who has since achieved fame and 
delighted so many thousands of playgoers on both sides 
of the Atlantic in *' Romance." Long afterwards, 
when London was flocking to see the clever lady in her 
famous part, I met Mr. Jones near the theatre in which 
she was playing. 

" When you saw her in that little part in " The 
Hypocrites " did you think she would rise to this ? " 
he asked. 

" Yes, I did," I replied truthfully, for even in those 
days and in a tiny part Doris Keane had impressed me 
by her intelligence, industry and charm — those three 
essentials to success in the world of the theatre. 

We were to open in " The Hypocrites " at the Hudson 
Theatre in New York, and immediately on our arrival 
we started rehearsing under the direction of the author. 

I have, I think, been more fortunate than most in 
my professional career. I have rehearsed under the 
personal direction of the most distinguished folk in 
their line, under great actors and actresses such as 
Henry Irving, Genevieve Ward, and Mrs. Kendal ; under 
great producers such as the Frohmans, Belasco and 
Augustus Harris, and also under authors as dis- 
tinguished as Henry Arthur Jones, Haddon Chambers 

280 Myself and Others 

and Comyns Carr, amongst many others, and it has been 
a lasting regret with me that I was unable to accept 
Sir Arthur Pinero's offer to me to create the part in 
" The Profligate " played by Miss Kate Rorke, but I 
was engaged at the Adelphi, and the Gattis quite 
rightly refused to release me. Nor when he asked me 
to play Paula Tanqueray in Australia could I obtain 
a release from my engagements, and I fear that my 
chances of learning a Pinero part under Pinero are gone 
for ever. 

" Why don't you come back ? We want you," he 
told me gallantly when I met him at the private view 
of the reconstructed Drury Lane. 

" Fm too old," I replied. It is always best to face the 
truth, however horrid ! 

The rehearsals of " The Hypocrites " were a wonderful 
and valuable experience. And those rehearsals were 
no joke — not that rehearsals should ever be a joke — 
but the heat in New York that August was well nigh 
tropical, and, accustomed as I had been to the tireless 
energy of Irving and the exhausting Lyceum routine, 
even I began to feel something of a physical and nervous 
wreck as the time for production of the play drew near. 
As so often happens after the long and anxious 
rehearsal of a play to which one is burning to do every 
justice, there came a sort of reaction on the very day 
before the production. We were all very depressed, very 
languid from the heat, and very nervous, and the 
author's kindness and tolerance were highly tried. 

As I walked back in silence to my hotel with my maid 
Lottie, I felt desperately gloomy. Once more the 
horrible doubt began to assail me that perhaps I was 
mis-cast ; that I could not possibly do the author 
justice ; that, from beginning to end, my interpreta- 

Myself and Others 281 

tion was utterly wrong, that — but every creative artist 
knows the doubts that come flocking in on the mind in 
certain moods. What did the morrow hold ? And 
just then my eye was caught by a sign over a doorway : 


" Lottie," I announced, " I'm going to consult King 

" Rubbish, Miss Jessie ! " said Lotttie severely, 
" You've gone mad ! " 

But I had rung the bell, and in an instant the door 
opened and a faded-looking woman was asking me 
what I wanted. 

To consult King Solomon," I replied. 
Miss Jessie — " began Lottie, in whispered remon- 

" Have you an appointment ? " 

" No ; I've only just seen the gentleman's sign." 

" King Solomon only sees clients by appointment." 

" That's a blessing, anyway," blurted Lottie, *' and 
now, Miss Jessie, perhaps you'll come along." 

But at that moment a door in the background opened, 
and a tall figure in a red velvet robe, and wearing a sort 
of tinsel crown on his woolly locks, appeared. King 
Solomon was a full-blooded negro, as black as your boot 
and fully six feet tall. 

" King Solomon will see the lady," he announced 
in a high, reedy voice — a weird voice to proceed from 
such a bulk — and the woman stood aside for us to 

His Majesty waved me into his holy of holies, a dark 
little den opening out of a dark passage. 

Don't go away, Lottie," I whispered hurriedly and 


282 Myself and Others 

a trifle nervously as I passed in, for I had not bargained 
for a tete-d-tete with a coloured monarch. 

*' Me go away ! " sniffed the indomitable Lottie. 
" King Solomon or no King Solomon, I stand here on 
this mat till you come out." 

Seating himself opposite to me, the King looked 
earnestly into my hand, and then began to gaze into a 
bowl which apparently contained ink. For some time 
he mumbled unintelligibly, and then he began to speak. 

" It seem to me," he piped, in that curious head 
voice, " that you are surrounded by bad people — scandal- 
mongers and hypocrites. It seem to me you in big 
building, in crowds of people, all shouting and making 
great noise. It seem to me great success somehow. 
It seem to me you long time in place. It seem " 

There were several other " it seems " of various 
intelligibility and importance, and then " it seemed " 
to His Majesty that his fee was one dollar and the 
seance was concluded. 

Next morning I met Mr. Jones at the theatre. 

" We're going to have a huge success to-night," I 
told him. 

" I hope so, I'm sure," was his answer, " but one can 
never tell." 

" I can tell." 

And the play was a huge success, the audience rising 
to its feet and cheering wildly as the author bowed his 
acknowledgments from his box at the end of the 
third act. 

** I told you it was going to be a success," I reminded 
him afterwards. *' I had private information about it 

" From whom .? " 

" King Solomon ! " 

Myself and Others 283 

So great was the success of *' The Hypocrites " that 
Mr. Jones's play became the topic of literary and artistic 
New York, and the papers were filled with correspondence 
on its " lesson," or what the writers of the letters 
thought to be its *' lesson," and various literary societies 
held debates on the questions raised by the play. 

At one such debate, at the Astor Hotel, I was asked 
to take the chair, but not feeling equal to speaking in 
private I resigned the honour in favour of Mr. Murray 
Carson. The subject for discussion was : " Is a mother 
ever right in sacrificing her son's future ? " and the 
discussion soon became very animated, even heated. 
And so excited did I become that I remember leaping to 
my feet and crying wildly : 

" No ! I'd do anything and everything on earth to 
protect my sons ! " 

*' For all the world," as someone afterwards told me, 
" as if you had a family of at least a dozen ! " 

Which merely went to prove the truth of Mr. Jones's 
remark to me after his first reading of the play, that a 
lady need not commit a murder in order to enter into 
the feelings of Lady Macbeth. An actress must have 

*' The Hypocrites " settled down into a great success, 
and after a long run at the Hudson Theatre in New 
York went on the usual tour of the big cities. 

It was while we were in New York, however, that 
during the Christmas Day matinee Mr. Glendinning came 
to me as I stood in the wings and said : '' Jessie Millward, 
will you marry me ? " 

" Go away ! How dare you ? You must be mad ! " 
was my rather unconventional reception of the proposal. 

" I shall ask you every day until you say * yes,' " 
was all he said, and he carried out his word. His first 

284 Myself and Others 

rejection was on Christmas Day, and on January 24, 
1907, we were quietly married, with my faithful Lottie 
as witness, in a beautiful church on Broadway, on a 
glorious, sunny winter morning. 

On leaving the church we drove straight to a telegraph 
office and I cabled my brother Percy : " Tell mother I 
was married to-day." 

Back came my brother's answer : " Tell him he is the 
luckiest man in the world, but we should like to know 
his name." 

It is nice that a brother should have such a high 
opinion of his sister. 

And very soon afterwards came another compliment, 
this time in verse, from an old friend who had known 
me all my life, which I have always treasured, and hope 
to be forgiven for reprinting it But if poets will write 
kind and flattering verses they must abide by the 


' The beauty ot the woman doth not dwell 

Alone within the circle of her form ; 
Her smiling eye— her pulsing heart, her warm 
Hand-clasping, all her depth of meaning tells ; 
And so from thee a glorious flood upwells. 
As from the pictured heath, the crystal flow 
Of limpid splendour — 'mid the flowers ablow — 
Gushes to charm us with its mystic spells. 
Long years have proved thee noble in thy life — 
True to the art that sways thy cultured mind — 
Thy graces beaming round thee — unconfined — 
To shape thy being for the perfect wife ; 
So may'st thou walk Ufe's pathway, bright and new. 
With liim, who stands beside thee — staunch and true. 

Alfred S. Johkstone. 
Hillside, Rednal, 

Worcestershire, July 3, 1907. 

^^F^ '.JBH 


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Myself and Others 285 

As an actor my husband had represented the leading 
character in nearly every leading play, ancient and 
modern, and in determining the range of his versatility 
one had not to bother to strain one's calculations beyond 
two points — " Macbeth " and " The Girl in the Taxi." 

In the 'eighties Mr. Glendinning was known all over 
the United Kingdom as " the Terriss of the road." 
While Terriss, handsomely defiant, was steadily winning 
the evergreen stage case of virtue versus vice, and 
vice versa, at the Adelphi every night and at Saturday 
matinees, John Glendinning was doing likewise in the 

Romantically and physically robust enough for the 
hero of " The Harbour Lights," it naturally fell to the 
lot of Mr. Glendinning to be chosen to follow Wilson 
Barrett in " The Silver King " and Charles Warner in 
" In the Ranks." From melodrama he passed to comedy- 
drama — to " A White Lie " at the Court, under the 
management of Mrs. Kendal, and it was this engage- 
ment that led to his future work being confined almost 
entirely to the American stage. In 1889 he went with the 
Kendals to New York, playing Octave in " The Iron- 
master," Victor in " Impulse," and Captain Tempest in 
" A White Lie." 

Later he played lead with Cara Morris in " The New 
Magdalen," " Renee," " Camille," and "Claire," and 
from that time onwards was engaged in playing to 
American audiences an extensive variety of parts, 
including Shylock and the Laird in " Trilby," Othello 
and Mark Embury in " Mice and Men," lago and Sir 
John Plugent in " The Hypocrites," Mercutio and 
Charles Summers in " Irene Wycherley," Macbeth and 
Frederick Smith in "The Girl in the Taxi." His last 
appearance was in " The Rosary," in which he played 

286 Myself and Others 

the part of a Catholic priest, Father Brian Kelly, a 
lovable and sympathetic character which has won 
thousands of hearts in America and in the British Isles. 
At the conclusion of the tour of " The Hypocrites " 
my husband and I returned to England, and spent the 
summer at our bungalow at Lancing Beach. During 
our holidays I heard great things of a one-act play, which 
was being acted in London by Arnold Bell and his wife, 
called " As a Man Sows." I went up to town, saw the 
play, liked it, and invited Mr. Bell down to the bungalow 
for the week-end, in order to discuss terms. He came, 
and I bought the rights for vaudeville in America, as I 
felt the playlet was just the very thing for my husband 
and myself to act together. 

When the deal was completed, Mr. Bell wired to 
his wife : " Miss Millward has bought ' As a Man 
Sows ' for America." On his return to town Mrs. 
Bell expressed her surprise at my decision to go in for 

" What on earth do you mean ? " asked her husband, 

and she showed him his wire as she had received it : 

*' Miss Millward has bought many sows for America." 

Even in those dear, dead ante helium days beyond 

recall the postal system was not absolutely perfect. 

Late in the autumn we returned to America, and after 
a season in " Lady Frederick," in which I played the 
part of Lady Merestow, my husband and I had a 
delightful tour along the Pacific coast with " As a Man 
Sows " — which we re-named " Reaping the Whirl- 
wind " — visiting Los Angeles, Colorado, San Francisco 
and the other principal cities of that beautiful coast, 
now and then breaking our journey and resting a week 
or two in some place that particularly appealed to us. 
It was a wonderful experience, and was more in the 

Myself and Others 287 

nature of a prolonged holiday among glorious surround- 
ings than of a workaday theatrical tour. 

In spite of the increased popularity of vaudeville, in 
one or two of the cities we visited we found people who 
expressed a little surprise at seeing me on the music- 
hall stage, and in San Francisco an interviewer asked 
me point-blank why I was playing in vaudeville. 

" Read that sign," I told him. and pointed to a 
printed notice which was fixed to the dressing-room 
door. It ran : 

" Salaries are paid every Saturday night." 

" And my salary is a very pleasant one," I added. 
It seemed to me a very sound reason, and also convinced 
the interviewer. 

One met all sorts of interesting folk on this tour. 

Walking one day with my husband, a tall, heavily 
built man who was passing raised his hat, and, rather 
to my surprise, my husband called to him and intro- 
duced him. 

'' This is Mr. Fitzsimmons, the eminent boxer, 
Jessie," he explained, and Mr. Fitzsimmons thrust 
forth a huge hand. 

" Glad to know you, Miss Millward," said the cx- 
fighting man ; " always glad to meet a brother 

" A brother professional ? " I stammered. 

" Well, p'r'aps I should say sister professional. Me 
and my wife's taken to the stage, and are starring in a 

In those days, instead of taking to the films, famous 
pugilists adopted the music-halls when the ring had 
ceased to lure them, and Fitzsimmons was at that time 
touring in a sketch in which he played the hero, shod a 

288 Myself and Others 

horse — his original profession had been that of a black- 
smith — and boxed three rounds with the villain. 

If all one heard was true, it was necessary to renew 
the villain occasionally. 

So great was the attraction of the halls for " pro- 
fessors of the fistic art " — I believe that is the correct 
phrase — that even old John L. Sullivan was starring 
in a playlet called " Honest Hearts and Horny Hands " 
— or something like that. 

But there would seem to be a certain amount of 
professional jealousy even amongst theatrical pugilists, 
for when Mr. Glendinning questioned Fitzsimmons as 
to Sullivan's success : — 

" Bless you, Mr Glendinning," he replied, " old 
John L. will never make a real actor like you and me. 
He's not got the artist's nature. Half a dozen stage 
directors have given up even trying to break him of the 
habit — just as he's pulling on the gloves to do in the 
girl's betrayer — of coming down to the footlights and 
confidentially winking at the audience." 

" Did you notice the diamonds in his teeth ? " asked 
my husband when he left us. I had noticed them, and 
came to the conclusion that, instead of decorating his 
wife or his sweetheart with diamonds, the successful 
pugilist preferred to use them for tooth-stoppings. 
Which is all a matter of taste. 

Mr. Glendinning always maintained that the success 
of Fitzsimmons over Corbett settled once and for all the 
much debated question as to whether women should 
attend championship fights. 

" Only think, Jessie," he would say ; " here were the 
two fighters, dazed, semi-exhausted, after a long and 
punishing bout. Corbett was still a possible winner, 
and had not Mrs. Fitzsimmons been at the ringside a 

Myself and Others 289 

different tale might have been told ; but with the un- 
erring tact of the true woman she seized the psycho- 
logical moment, and, rising in her seat, she cried shrilly 
to her devoted husband : ' Never mind his nut, Bob ! 
Paste the tinker in the slats ! ' Whereupon her obedient 
spouse immediately delivered the all-conquering ' solar 
plexus jolt ' and Pompadour Jim bent to the storm." 

Such, at least, was Mr. Glendinning's solution of the 
problem. It was Greek to me. 

" Reaping the Whirlwind " was a grim little tragedy 
in which a woman, for entirely excellent reasons, 
poisoned a worthless man, and from the first the poison 
gave us trouble. 

As the playlet was under no circumstances to last 
longer than twenty minutes, the exact kind of poison 
to be used became important. If any sort of realism 
was to be attempted a lingering death from strychnine, 
for example, was out of the question, and after my 
husband and I had debated the question at some length 
I rang up an old medical friend. Dr. McPhcrson, and 
implored his advice. 

" I'm in a dreadful fix," I told him over the 'phone, 
*' and I want you to help mc." 

" Of course," came his voice. " What is it ? " 

" Tell me the quickest kind of poison there is." 

" Depends on what you want to poison. Is it a dog ?" 

" No it's my husband." 

I heard an indescribable exclamation at the other 
end of the wire, and then came the doctor's voice : 

" Look here," he said, " I'm coming round to see 
you at once. Don't you go out till I come ; Til be round 
in a few minutes. And suppose you lie down. I'll 
be round immediately." 

And he rang off. 


290 Myself and Others 

When in an incredibly short time he arrived at the 
hotel he seemed quite surprised to find my husband and 
myself still earnestly discussing the quickest possible 
death by poison. 

After the particular brand of poison had been settled 
on — with the doctor's advice — there was still another 
difficulty to arise. On our first appearance at Hammer- 
stein's — an appearance which Oscar Hammerstein had 
told me was in the nature of an experiment, as he did not 
yet know his audience would care for serious drama — 
to my horror I noticed as I was about to hand the fatal 
glass to my victim that there was a large fly in it. Know- 
ing Mr. Glendinning, I knew too well that play or no 
play, Hammerstein or no Hammerstein, nothing on earth 
would persuade him to drink from that glass if once he 
saw the fly. Hiding it with my hand until the last 
moment I gave him the fatal draught, and to my 
intense relief he swallowed it, fly and all. 

Then I began to feel uneasy. The fly might be a 
poisonous one ; I might in reality have poisoned my 
husband ; all sorts of terrible complications might 
ensue, so when I got back to my dressing-room I 
implored Lottie to get a glass of brandy and take it 
round to my husband's room. 

" When we met later : " What on earth made you 
send Lottie round to me with some brandy ? " he asked. 

" I — I thought you looked pale," I stammered feebly, 
but I hadn't the courage to give the real reason for some 
considerable time. 

Another little contretemps over that death scene 
occurred at Denver. Like many other people, I felt 
the effect of the rarefied air, and several times 
during the performance I felt myself on the verge of 
collapse. But I pulled myself together, administered 

Myself and Others 291 

the fatal dose, the victim died, and the curtain came 
down to loud applause. Barely was it down before I 
gasped : " Jack, I'm fainting ! Catch me ! " 

My husband leapt from the floor and caught me, and 
at that very moment the curtain, rising for a " call," 
disclosed the murderess clasped in her victim's arms. 

A break-down, resulting in a long and serious illness 
in New York, brought our tour to an end, and after 
lying in hospital for weeks I determined that if I was 
going to die I would die in England, so from the hospital 
I drove to the steamer, and settled down once more in 

Shortly before my illness I had seen a performance of 
" The Rosary," a play by Edward Rose — who was for 
many years associated with Charles Frohman at the 
Empire Theatre, New York — which had attained an 
immense popularity in America, and when I sailed for 
home I had arranged with my husband that we should 
buy the English rights. Owing to his professional 
engagements he was unable to sail with me, and was 
obliged to remain in the States for a few weeks, and so 
keen was I on the play that for a week after landing 
I cabled him every day : " Have you bought 'Rosary' ? " 

Poor man 1 

But at last came the impatiently expected cable : 
" Have bought ' Rosary ' and am sailing Wednesday." 

News of the American success of " The Rosary " had 
already reached England, and when my husband landed 
it was to find that many plays, in the titles of which 
the word Rosary occurred, were being played all 
over the country, so the first and most obvious thing 
to be done was to get our " Rosary " played somewhere, 
somehow, and at once, in order to protect the title : 
" The Rosary.' 


T 2 

292 Myself and Others 

A company was hurriedly engaged and the play was 
put into rehearsal, and, a suitable London theatre then 
being out of the question, my husband set to work to 
improvise a tour. 

" Get it done, no matter where," I had begged him, 
and one day he came to me with an amused smile. 

" For heaven's sake, don't look at my letters in the 
morning," he said, " if you do, I dare say you'll have 
a fit." 

** What on earth is the matter ? " I asked him 

** Nothing is the matter. I'm only going to produce 
' The Rosary ' next week." 

" Where ? " 

" You remember what you said : * No matter where ' .? " 

I nodded. 

*' Well, the only theatre we can get at once is the 
Elephant and Castle. So that is where we start." 

The Elephant and Castle Theatre was not quite in 
the West End of London, certainly, but the great thing 
was to get the play produced as quickly as possible. So 
at that theatre the tour started. 

I had not wished to play the heroine ; however young 
one may feel in heart a certain physical youth is desirable 
in stage heroines — in my humble opinion, at least, though 
I sometimes have had reason to wonder if I am in a 
minority — but in Liverpool and one or two of the bigger 
towns Mr. W. W. Kelly and others lured me to play, 
and in Woolwich I had a little adventure which almost 
persuaded me into the belief that I had been absurdly 
bashful about my age. 

After a matinee at Woolwich a girl sent her card up, 
asking if she might see me for just one moment, and, 
remembering vaguely what Charles Frohman had 

Myself and Others 293 

instilled into me of the vast importance of that powerful 
young lady the " matinee girl," I was on the point of 
saying that I would receive her when my maid anticipate 

" Do see her, Miss Jessie," she pleaded, " she seems 
so nice and so anxious." 

So a charming girl of about eighteen was shown into 
my dressing-room, and after shily thanking me for 
receiving her : 

" I did want to see you so much. Miss Millward," she 
stammered nervously ; " I've admired your performance 
more than I can say, and my mother always admired 
your mother so much. Your mother was her favourite 
actress when she was young, and she always talks about 
her performance in ' The Harbour Lights.' " 

" In ' The Harbour Lights ' ? " 

" Yes, that was the first play she saw your mother in, 
and she fell in love with her on the spot." 

" My dear," I said feebly, all my best grammar failing 
me under the shock, " that was me ! " 

" You ! " she cried, staring at me round-eyed — I 
was still in my stage costume — " it couldn't be ! My 
mother's quite an old lady." 

It is terrible to shatter the illusions of youth, but it 
had to be done, even at the risk of shattering one or two 
of my own few remaining illusions about age. 

It was during this tour that occurred that great 
tragedy which eclipsed all minor tragedies. 

The war broke out. 


The 4th of August, 191 4. — Unforgettable pictures. — The rule, and the 
exception.— A personal grievance. — The American point of view. — Lionel 
Macldnder. — Dyeing to die. — " Carrying on." — The theatrical profession 
in war time. — Unconquerable humour. — Death of my husband. — The 
unchangeable suburb. — An old Adelplii friend.— Alma Murray. — Mr. 
Robert Pateman. — A new Hamlet ? — History repeats itself. — The theatre 
of to-day. — The young actor and actress. — A player's first duty. — Irving 
and Terriss. — A contrast in tours. — A new field. — The film. — A great art in 
its infancy. — Tom Terriss. 

WAR ! It scarcely seemed credible. That fourth 
day of August, 1914, which was to be the last 
day in the life of the world of the old familiar 
ways, and was to see the birth of a new, strange and 
portentous era, was, on the surface, absurdly, tragically 
like other days. The majority of people seemed numbed, 
dazed, and unable to grasp the full meaning of the looming 
tragedy, and went dully about their ordinary tasks. 
In the streets, in the shops, in the business centres of 
the great cities, the same throngs moved in much the 
same fashion, but, whether it was in my imagination 
alone or not, it seemed to me that in those terrible days 
each was gazing almost furtively into his neighbour's 
eyes, and wondering, always wondering. There was a 
drawing together, a feeling of a common brotherhood in 
the face of a common, unknown danger, which abolished 
the distinction of classes and status in the twinkling of 
an eye. In an instant the nation seemed to have become 
one vast family. And wherever one moved, whenever 


Myself and Others 295 

one listened, there were the voices of the newsboys 
crying : " War ! War ! War against Germany ! " 

In the memories of all of us who passed through 
those days are unforgettable pictures. It was all so 
new, so strange, and the impressions were all so vivid. 
Vaguely one realized that all the pleasant old ways had 
passed for ever ; that an abyss had suddenly opened at 
one's feet, into the depths of which the sight could not 

The unknown yawned suddenly in front of one, and 
one could only wonder, wonder. Certain sounds of those 
days are indelibly recorded in my memory. The hoarse 
cries of the newsboys, for example ; the night-long 
clanking of the troop trains, never ceasing, never 
pausing ; the singing of the recruits as they marched into 
the unknown ; the indescribable, anxious note in the 
murmuring voices of the crowds in public places. And 
certain sights are unforgettable. The waiting throngs 
of quiet, determined youths — now, as we realize only 
too sadly and well, the flower and chivalry of the 
nation — at the hastily improvised recruiting stations ; 
wherever one went, one found those silent, grimly 
patient throngs of boys with stern, set, unboyish faces. 

In nearly every home in the land the same great 
scene was being enacted as was enacted in mine. The 
bell rang, the door burst open, and a nephew of 
eighteen, a lad who seemed but yesterday a schoolboy 
with leanings towards sweets and pocket-money, rushed 
into my room. 

" I've enlisted ! " he cried, with the air of one who has 
a great load lifted from his mind. 

" But what will your father say when he hears of it r" 
I asked weakly. Only yesterday, it seemed, he was a 
child in knickerbockers. 

296 Myself and Others 

" What would he say if I hadn't ? " he demanded 

But there were others, and the others were the excep- 
tions that made the rule more glorious. 

On the day after war was declared I was driving down 
Whitehall with my husband and a young English actor 
of thirty-three years of age, who, having made a success 
in America, was now on a visit to England, and seemed 
to take it as a personal grievance that the nation had 
spoilt his holiday by declaring war on the Hun. 

My husband drew his attention to the patient, waiting 
thousands who filled the Horse Guards Parade. 

" Of course you're going to enhst ? " he observed 

"Well, I don't know ; I'm thinking it over," was the 
peevish answer. " It's an infernal shame — the whole 
beastly thing. After a lot of hard work I came over 
here to have a good time, and I'm not getting it." 

And that is an actual record of a conversation I can 
never forget. 

Within a few days the gentleman who was not getting 
a " good time " had sailed for New York, and soon after 
was once more playing his favourite role of hero at the 
safe distance of three thousand miles of Atlantic. 

As I have said, the exceptions to the rule were so 
few and so glaring that they stood out with extreme 
prominence, and the theatrical club in America may be 
forgiven the notice which they posted in their smoke- 
room : " To Englishmen ! Your King and Country 
Need You ! We don't ! " — the more especially as 
America had not at that time even faintly begun to 
realize the gigantic magnitude of the issue. 

I think that every member of my profession has a 
right to be proud of its record in the war. Very, very 

Myself and Others 297 

soon the boards were deserted by all the young and 
able-bodied, and many who were neither young nor 
able-bodied prevaricated and lied their way into the 
firing line. Poor Lionel Mackinder, for example, who, 
in spite of his youthful appearance was years above 
the military age, in the very early days found a hero's 
grave, and there were many like him. And I remember 
one actor, who is happily still alive and who shall be 
nameless, whom I met sometime in 1916 in Oxford Street 
looking the picture of gloom. He had done nobly in 
those terrible fields of Flanders, and I had heard that he 
had been wounded and sent home, so my delight at seeing 
him was only damped by his general air of sadness. 

" What is the matter ? " I asked him, when we had 
chatted for a moment. He removed his uniform cap. 

" Look at my hair," he said. 

" What is the matter with it," I asked, somewhat 
mystified, " there seems plenty of it." 

" Plenty of it," he retorted peevishly. " Of course 
there's plenty of it, but it's grey, grey ! I didn't expect 
a medical board for another month, so I haven't been 
dyeing it lately, and now they've suddenly sprung a 
' board ' on me for this very afternoon — and — and the 
beastly dye takes at least twenty-four hours to work. 
The last time they saw me I was a bold brunette, and 
even then they hinted that I was a bit old for the 

part ! " 

And when he shook hands and I wished him God-speed : 
" It's a curious world, isn't it, when one has to dye to 
die t " he asked whimsically. 

For the women, the over-aged, and the unfit of the 
profession the noblest task seemed to be to " carry on " 
as best one could, and to brighten and cheer the all too 
short hours of leave from the shell-torn fields, and to 

298 Myself and Others 

lighten, so far as it was in the power of human beings 
to lighten, the lives of the maimed and broken. 

Yes, I am proud of my profession's work in the dark 
days of Armageddon. For, believe me, there were few 
of us who had not our own anxieties, for whom the 
dreadful casualty lists had no terrors, but if anything 
were needed to hearten us it was supplied by the bravery 
of the men we tried to amuse and help to forget. 

Never, for instance, shall I forget two maimed lads at 
a performance of " The Rosary " for the wounded at 
Brighton. They were chums, I heard ; they had 
" joined " together, had fought side by side, had been 
wounded together ; each had lost an arm, one the right 
and the other the left. And side by side they sat at 
the performance, and when they wanted to applaud- — 
as they did very often — one maimed boy laughingly 
struck his right palm against his chum's left. 

Yet again. Into the big hall at St. Dunstan's trooped 
in single file a long line of sightless men, each with his 
hand lightly resting on the shoulder of the man in 
front of him. Suddenly one of them lost touch, and 
for a second the rear half of the procession halted. 
Then from the end of the line came a mock-impatient 
question : 

" What's the matter, Alf ? Dropped your opera 
glasses ? " 

And the sightless men roared with laughter as at 
some Gargantuan joke, while the sighted folk laughed 
also — but there was a sob in their laughter. 

And it was in a London hospital that a plucky little 
actress of my acquaintance who had become a volunteer 
nurse, received one of the shocks of her life. She was a 
tender-hearted soul, full of sympathy, but she at first 
failed to realize that even a badly wounded Tommy 

Myself and Others 299 

had a strong desire to keep up appearances, therefore 
she had a severe shock when an irrepressible patient, 
with both legs hideously fractured, and whose splints, 
being longer than the poor legs, stuck out beyond the 
foot of the bed, called her anxiously to his help. 

" What is it ? " she asked kindly. 

" Nothing in particular, sister," he repHed bashfully ; 
" on'y please cover up these splints. The visitors '11 
think I'm a bloomin' wheelbarrow." 

She instantly covered them up, and thereafter, seeing 
that she was at heart a sympathetic soul and appre- 
ciated a man's little vanities, he admitted her to his 
confidence. Whenever I met her she had some new 
story of her *' wheelbarrow man," as she used to call 
him to his face, to his own vast amusement and to the 
mystification of the doctors and visitors, and one of 
them I remember as typical of the unconquerable 
humour of the poor maimed men who saved us. 

There was a confirmed hospital visitor who meant 
dreadfully well. She was a lady of very high rank 
indeed, with a very loud voice and a very kind heart, 
but she would make the fatal mistake of " talking 
war." Now, not every badly wounded man, back once 
more in clean sheets and civilization, cared to talk war, 
but war was her topic and she worked it to death. 

" And how many Germans did you kill on the ridge 
that day ? " she asked fatuously. 

He opened his eyes wearily, and took her in at a 

" I dunno exactly, mum," he whispered. " I was 
wounded before I'd finished counting 'em — but they've 
stuffed my mattress with the whiskers." 

With such a spirit among the wounded and the 
men on leave the task of the theatres in " carrying on " 

300 Myself and Others 

in war time became a duty. What did the darkened 
towns, the lighting and travelhng difficulties, the 
thousand petty discomforts matter, when the men who 
were really suffering, really enduring, and whose life 
amid the mud and lice of the trenches was a hell on 
earth, could, in their brief respite from torment, gain a 
little happiness, a little forgetfulness ? 

So the men on leave, the anxious ones at home, and 
the maimed and wounded all found hours of forgetful- 
ness and of laughter in the theatre. Some Spartan 
folk there were who blamed the profession for the 
lightness, frivolity and inconsequence of the war-time 
productions, but Tragedy was stalking through the 
land, and the greatest problem play in history was 
being played on the stage of the world. Surely a few 
hours' inconsequent laughter at inconsequent nothings 
could not be grudged to the actors in that play ? 

While acting on tour at Cheltenham my husband was 
taken ill on the stage. I was telegraphed for, and, 
travelling in a crowded troop train, I reached the town 
I had not visited since I was eight years of age, although 
it loomed large in our family history. At Chelthenam 
my great-grandfather, my grandfather, and my mother 
were born, and at Cheltenham my husband died. 

And then — so does history repeat itself — I returned 
to London to take a flat in West Kensington three houses 
away from the house in which I had lived with my 
parents in those old Adelphi days, when, at the urgent 
request of my poor mother, I used to stop the hansom 
from the theatre at the corner of the street, and walk 
the few yards to the door at night, as " the neighbours 
would not think it respectable for a hansom to drive up 
so late at night." Not to say that in those days it was 

Myself and Others 301 

considered distinctly " fast " for a young woman to be 
seen in a hansom at all ! 

But in many ways West Kensington has changed but 
little, and of all London districts I know seems the 
least affected by the march of those twin decorators 
and renovators, time and progress. The same people 
live there ; they look older, that is all. 

Shortly after taking up my abode I entered West 
Kensington Station, and the stationmaster came up 
to me. 

" You won't remember me. Miss Millward," he 
observed, " but many's the time I've watched you from 
the Adelphi gallery in the old days — many's the time 
I've opened your carriage door for you when I was a 
porter at this station and when you were off to the 

So little does West Kensington change that James 
Hurford has been at that same station for thirty-eight 

And the butcher is the same — he looks older, like 
the rest of us, but he is the same, and he remembers ; 
the newsagent is the same, the doctor is the same — 
no one seems to leave West Kensington, or if they do, 
it is only to return. 

And it is a colony of familiar faces. 

I turn a corner and I meet Alma Murray — Alma 
Murray, whose performance in " The Ccnci " drew 
letters of praise from Robert Browning ; a musician 
who knew Sims Reeves greets me on my doorstep ; a 
friend of Irving's bows to me as I take my ticket, with 
the stationmaster at my side who was porter thirty-odd 
years ago. And when I visit a near-by theatre whom do 
I find myself next to but Mr. Robert Pateman, whom 
I have not seen since the death of Mr. Terriss. 

302 Myself and Others 

We found that we had both been attracted to the 
theatre that afternoon by the desire to see Mr. Bransby 
WiUiams in " David Copperfield." 

" He is a great actor," I observed to Mr. Pateman as 
the curtain fell. 

" He is," replied the stately old gentleman. " And I 
will tell you a secret. He will be a wonderful Hamlet, 
and he has confided to me that he means to play it." 

Secrets are so difficult to keep, are they not ? 

And then we talked of his dear wife, who was my 
friend at the Adelphi — the Adelphi once again as I 
write devoted to melodrama, so does history repeat 
itself — and of many, many memories, happy and sad, 
including even the domestic servant problem. 

" You were luckier in your maid than my wife was 
in hers," he smiled, and a long-forgotten memory once 
more came to mind. I had been boasting to Mrs. 
Pateman of the treasure I had found in Lottie. 

" Ah," she sighed, " how I wish I had your luck, 
my dear. My last experience has been too awful. She 
was from the country, and, as she said she had never 
been to a play, I told her one evening that while we 
were out she could go to the theatre at Hammersmith, 
which was quite close, as our house was in Castlenau, 
Barnes, but to be sure to be back before we arrived 
home from the West End. Of course, when we arrived 
there were no signs of her, and when midnight struck, 
and then one, I grew seriously alarmed, and had visions 
of a country girl lost in London. I knew the play, 
* Uncle Tom's Cabin,' was over long before the Adelphi 
play, and couldn't imagine what had kept the girl. 
At last I heard a noise in the garden in front, and rushing 
through the hall I opened the front door — and there 
she stood. 

Myself and Others 303 

" ' What on earth does this mean ? ' " I asked, angrily. 
For a moment she did not answer, and then I became 
aware of a horrible scent — gin, my dear. 

" ' Oh, mum ! ' she gulped, ' Little Eva's dead — an' 
it so upset me that I felt quite faint ! ' And then she 
burst into floods of maudlin tears." 

Again I look around as I write, and see history re- 
peating itself. 

As I have said, the Adelphi is once again given over 
to drama of the kind which acquired the name of 
" Adelphi drama " ; the play which set the seal on 
the reputation of Mrs. Patrick Campbell (who followed 
me at the Adelphi), " The Second Mrs. Tanqueray," has 
added fresh laurels to brilliant Miss Gladys Cooper ; 
Pinero plays are once more the vogue, and, what possesses 
a peculiar interest for me, Tom Terriss, the son of the 
original David Kingsley is engaged on a production 
of " The Harbour Lights " for the films, in which 
appears the niece of the original Dora. Soon — who 
knows ? he may be already waiting in the wings — the 
great tragedian may stride upon the scene and another 
Irving may fill the stage. 

All the others are there — the brilliant comedians, the 
clever comediennes, and I think I see a great tragic 
actress. And he will come once more, the Garrick, 
the Kean, the Macready, the Irving of his day. 

It seems the mode, in certain circles, to take a gloomy 
view of the present of the theatre, and an even gloomier 
view of the future. But I was ever an optimist, and as 
I survey the present condition of the art I love I see 
little reason for pessimism. 

Artistically, the war phase was a bad one, and has 
left its mark. Sneer as you may at the actor-managers 


304 Myself and Others 

and the commercial managers of pre-war days, folk 
such as the Bancrofts, Irving, Tree, Wyndham, Alexander 
and the Frohmans loved and knew their theatre, made 
it their life study, and within their limitations — and 
who has not limitations ? — gave of their best ungrudgingly 
and devotedly. 

The same can scarcely be said of the host of business 
folk, who, during the curious war period, looked upon 
the theatre as an outlet for their superfluous capital, and 
regarded theatrical speculation in the light of an 
agreeable flutter. Perhaps the phase was unavoidable 
— in a world upheaval the arts go first to the wall — 
but it was a phase that did harm, and the effects are 
not even yet wholly eliminated. 

But as I look around I refuse to be pessimistic. I 
see many clever young people, men and women, who, 
given fair opportunity and provided they take to the 
art seriously and reverently, need fear no comparison 
with the great names of the immediate past. 

But I entreat them to take their work seriously. I 
am old-fashioned enough to believe that it is the player's 
duty to give his or her public the best that is in his or 
her power, and when I look back at the severe and 
constant work which was thought necessary in my day, 
entirely apart from the actual performances at the 
theatre, I permit myself to wonder whether the 
ambitious young actor or actress who sandwiches a 
performance between a late lunch, or a dance tea, and a 
supper dance until the small hours, is physically in a 
fit condition to give that best to the public who 

Each of us, I am aware, must in such matters be a 
law to him or herself. 

Myself and Others 306 

Nothing delighted Irving more, for example, than to 
sit up to all hours of the dawn over a cigar with a few 
of his intimate friends, discussing his art and aims, but 
Irving Vv^as essentially a lonely man, yet a lover of the 
company of the carefully chosen few. And Irving, as 
I have said, was made of steel and whipcord. Mr. 
Terriss, on the other hand, a fervent believer in the open 
air and the simple life, had his bowl of bread-and-milk — 
I can see the modern fashionable young jeune premier 
smile ! — between the acts at nine o'clock every evening 
of his life, and observed the early-to-bed rule as 
closely as it is possible for a member of our profession 
to do so. 

Healthy relaxation is essential alike for mind and 
body, and in no profession is it more essential than in 
the actor's, for the actor of necessity lives on his nervous 
temperament with one great object, to fit him to give 
of his very best to the public by and in whom he has 
his being. 

And the ambitious young man and woman of to-day 
is far better off in a way than I and my contemporaries 
were ; a vast, new and barely explored field has been 
opened to them in the cinema. 

For long, I confess, I was inclined to treat the film 
as an amusing toy, valuable, possibly, for educational 
purposes, and for recording events pictorially for the 
benefit of posterity, but I begin to realize that I was 
wrong. It is true that in its earlier phases the film play 
seemed to me to savour too much of the " penny blood " 
and the " penny novelette " of my childhood's days ; 
but the days are already passing when lunatics leaping 
from precipices, mad cowboys lassoing express trains, 
and " a crime to every foot of film " seem to be the 


306 Myself and Others 

producer's ideal. I may be unduly optimistic, but in 
the film world I fancy I see the uneducated, illiterate, 
commercial element retiring gradually into the back- 
ground, and a new generation of artists and of dreamers 
who mean to make their dreams come true. 

And in this connection I cannot do better than quote 
from a long letter I received from one of the younger 
generation of enthusiasts in answer to some criticisms of 

Tom Terriss writes : 

" In the seven years that I have put in in the making 
of motion pictures I have played and watched the game 
from every angle. I cannot exclaim ' Eureka ! ' (which 
is Greek for ' I know it all"), but this I can say — the 
trouble with the cinema is formula. There are set 
formulas for writing titles, for stories, formulas for 
entries and exits, formulas for beginnings and 

There are not enough bold, creative spirits who will 
continually smash all rules and formulas. In the rapid 
development of the mechanical side of picture-making 
in America the artistic side is being lost sight of. There 
are beautiful ' effects,' but few ideas. Story-writers, 
directors, title-writers and actors are tied hand and foot 
by the purely mechanical and business brains that wiU 
eventually make the American-made picture the most 
perfect mechanically in the world, but the least creative, 
the least intellectual and the most tiresome. 

The crying need of this great art is big independent 
writers and epic directors who can work untrammelled. 
This real wonder of the modern world is to-day almost 
wholly controlled by men not to the cinema born. It 

Myself and Others 307 

is as though Mr. Edison were to call in a barber to run 
his plants or the ' Daily Mail ' were to pick a cigar 
salesman for managing editor. 

During my seven years in studios I have watched 
the manufacture of pictures from the day the story was 
bought until its production on Broadway. I have 
seen the story passed on to the scenario (or continuity) 
writer, who put it into 480 scenes, describing in his 
script the minutest action of every character, planting 
the fades and the close-ups with a complete set of titles. 
I have seen the script changed by the supervising 
director, passed on to the director, who shot it, scene 
by scene, from the manuscript ; the building of each 

* set ' by the carpenters from the blue prints from the 
art department, the continual re-editing and cutting 
of the film after twenty runs in the raw in the projection 
room, the re-titling, the making of insets (letters, 
documents, photographs, etc.), the making of title cards 
in the laboratory, and the final run in the theatre of 
the studio for the * critics ' from the main office — who 
just as often pronounce the whole thing ' rot ' as 
they signify with an enigmatic shake of the head 

* It'll pass!' 

There is only one question after these months of 
labour — not is the picture ' good ' or ' bad,' ' true ' 
or ' false ' — but ' will it get over ? ' And the question 
is perfectly legitimate, for the cinema is neither educa- 
tional nor philanthropic. It is as purely a commercial 
enterprise as selling soap. 

There are rare and beautiful instances when artistic 
effect and commercial values marry. ' Sentimental 
Tommy,' ' The Four Horsemen of the Apocal)pse,* 

* Experience,' ' Peter Ibbetson ' arc instances. 

u 2 

308 Myself and Others 

Before I went into the cinema I had heard a great 
deal about the ' fascination,' the ' magic ' of the 
game, and the way it ' gets you.' ' How to get into 
the cinema " is the slogan of millions. No one was 
ever told how to get out of the cinema — for no one wants 
to get out having once got in. I have never met a 
person who voluntarily left the cinema for another 

But when I first entered the studio the fascination 
and the magic were nowhere apparent. I couldn't 
find cinema land, the modern democratic fourth dimen- 
sion. On the great stages, where sometimes ten scenes 
were being shot at once, there seemed to be a series 
of dumb shows going on, interrupted by the hammers 
of carpenters, the blare of jazz bands, the gong of the 
director, or his megaphone. 

'" - A girl leaped from a castle window into a net held 
by stage-hands. Tom Meighan was being knocked 
down in a bar-room ; Wallace Reid, in a military uni- 
form, was bowing and scraping to a double-decked 
duenna ; Constance Binney was cooking ham and 
eggs in a garret ; Elsie Ferguson leaned out of a balcony 
while her stage lover sat on a fire hydrant off scene, 
chewing a cheese sandwich. Bewildering, but some- 
times dismal. 

But with the passing days the curious unreality of 
this world begins to creep into your blood, bone and 
tissue. These unsubstantial and fading scenes begin 
to attack and dilate your imagination. Living with 
a picture from its inception to its last shot built up 
in me a ' fiction sense.' To battle in conferences over 
people who never lived and dramatic and comic situa- 
tions that have no reality ; to create word pictures 
(titles) so that they shall fit exactly into the place where 

Myself and Others 309 

they must go ; to live day and night with the doings of 
mythical beings, to make them do this and that at your 
will, to see a story growing day by day into flesh and 
blood before you — that is the fascination, that is 
the magic, comparable only to the sculptor's passion 
when he turns a block of stone into a Galatea. 

And once this creational furore seizes you it can never 
leave you. You may quit, you may chuck the cinema 
if you will, but the voice of the director rings in your 
ear still. 

You may have noted that men in the various depart- 
ments of the cinema never talk about anything else. 
I soon caught the fire. It is because everything that 
happens becomes a picture. Every face you meet is 
judged by camera standards. The whole planet becomes 
a motion-picture studio. All events are poses. I 
found stories in stones, and shots in everything. 

A great many actors and actresses in the cinema 
portray characters whose fictional names they do not 
know, and quite often they have not even read the 
story of the play they are helping to film. 

Motion-pictures, the eighth art, are not yet twenty 
years old, and yet they are always being sneered at 
because they are not on a ' higher level.' 

What art in the history of the world has progressed 
so fast ? 

Painting is one of the oldest of the arts — but not one 
picture in ten thousand is worth looking at. 

Literature is one of the oldest of the arts — but not one 
book in ten thousand is real literature. 

Music is one of the oldest of the arts — but the immortal 
composers do not number twenty. 

Dancing is one of the oldest of the arts — but to-day 
the world ' shimmies ' and ' jazzes.' 

310 Myself and Others 

Architecture is one of the oldest of the arts — but the 
masterpieces of architecture are few. 

Sculpture is one of the oldest of the arts — but how 

many Rodins, Michelangelos, and Praxiteles are there ? 

Play-writing is one of the oldest of the arts — but there 

is not one play in fifty that is worth seeing and not one 

in ten thousand that lives. 

Most books, plays, music and painting are only fit 
for the ashpan — after incalculable years of work on them. 
What the seven arts have achieved only at long 
intervals in thousands of years, the Jeremiahs demand 
that an art barely twenty years old shall achieve every 
day ! 

No part in the history of humanity can compare for 
one moment with the achievements of the motion- 
picture art in twenty years. 

No art that is so essentially and necessarily democratic 
as the motion-picture art has done more for the imagina- 
tion, the intelHgence, the education and the entertain- 
ment of mankind. 

The seven arts existed hundreds and thousands of 
years before they gave birth to an yEschylus, a Moliere, 
a Shakespeare, a Rembrandt, a Beethoven, a Mordkin, 
a Rodin, a Cervantes, an Acropolis. 

And there are those who demand of the eighth art — 
which is an outgrowth and a blending of all the arts — 
these miracles in twenty years ! 

In twenty-five years, with millions behind me and a 
free foot, I might conceivably put the American-made 
motion-picture on a level with the highest products in 
the other arts. 

But after seven years I am still an amateur. And 
the greatest men in the business are still no more than 
that ! " 

Myself and Others 311 

If that is the spirit that animates the young men of 
to-day I have no fear of the future. 

" Look not mournfully into the past : it comes not back 
again. Wisely improve the present : it is yours. Go forth 
to meet the shadowy future without fear, and with a manly 

The End. 



I acted as an amateur with the Carlton Amateur 
Dramatic Club, and made my first appearance on the 
professional stage at the Folly Theatre (subsequently 
Toole's), in July, 1881, as Constance in "The Love 
Chase " ; next went on tour with the St. James's Com- 
pany, and at Manchester, 7th September, 1881, appeared 
as Mrs. Mildmay in " Still Waters Run Deep " ; subse- 
quently played at the same theatre Mabel Meryon in 
*' Coralie." At the St. James's, 27th October, 1881, I 
played the part of Mary Preston in " The Cape Mail," 
this being my first original part ; at the same theatre, 
29th December, 1881, I played the part of Florence in 
" Cousin Dick " ; and on 17th May, 1882, appeared as 
Mary Sullivan in "A Quiet Rubber" ; in June, 1882, 
went on tour with Miss Genevieve Ward, playing Alice 
Verney in " Forget Me Not." On the strength of my 
success in the past I was engaged by the late Sir Henry 
Irving at the Lyceum, and on nth October, 1882, I 
appeared there as Hero in " Much Ado about Nothing " ; 
at the Lyceum also played the following parts : Julie 
Lesurques in " The Lyons Mail," Annette in " The 
Bells," Jessica in " The Merchant of Venice," Lady 
Dolly Touchwood in " The Belle's Stratagem," and 
Marie in " Louis XL" I then accompanied the Lyceum 
Company to America, where, in addition to the fore- 
going, I also played Lady Anne in " King Richard HL" 
On the conclusion of my engagement with Sir Henry 


316 Myself and Others 

Irving I appeared at Stetson's Fifth Avenue Theatre^ 
New York, ist September, 1885, as Pauline in " Called 
Back," subsequently touring in the same part. At 
Madison Square Theatre, 1 2th April, 1885, I appeared as 
Katherine Ray in " Sealed Instructions," and subse- 
quently appeared as Ada in the same play. I then 
returned to London, and appeared at the Adelphi on 
17th September, 1885, succeeding Cissy Grahame as 
Fanny Power in " Arrah Na Pogue." On 24th October 
I played Anne Chute in " The Colleen Bawn " ; 23rd 
December, 1885, I appeared as Dora Vane in "The 
Harbour Lights " at the Adelphi, which was the first 
of the series of popular melodramas at that house in 
which I appeared with the late William Terriss. At the 
Vaudeville Theatre, 30th June, 1886, I played Hazel 
Kirke in the play of that name ; at the Adelphi I 
played in "The Bells of Haslemere," "The Union 
Jack," " The Silver Falls," and " The Shaughraun " ; 
in 1889, accompanied Terriss to America on a joint 
starring tour, appearing at Niblo's Garden, 8th October, 
1889, as Julie de Noirville in " Roger la Honte " (" A 
Man's Shadow"), and 6th November, 1889, as Pauline 
in " The Lady of Lyons." I also played in " Ingomar,'* 
"Frou-Frou," "Othello," and "The Marble Heart." 
I reappeared in England at the Grand Theatre, Islington,. 
5th April, 1890, as Dora in "The Harbour Lights " ; 
at Drury Lane, 12th May, 1890, I played Diane de 
Beaumont in "Paul Kauvar " ; 6th September, 1890, 
Mary Maythorne in " A Million of Money " ; at the 
Avenue, 7 th February, 1891, I played Mercedes in 
"Monte Cristo," and at the Vaudeville, i8th March,. 
1891, appeared as Miss Young in "Diamond Deane." 
Returning to Drury Lane, in April I played Susan 
Merton in " It's Never too Late to Mend " ; in May I 

Myself and Others 317 

appeared as Jenny Boker in " Formosa," and in June 
as Gervaise in " Drink." In September I was again at 
Drury Lane, playing Marie Delaunay in " A Sailor's 
Knot " ; and in May, 1892, I returned to the Lyceum 
to play Julie de Mortemar in " Richelieu." I next 
toured with William Terriss in costume recitals of 
*' Romeo and Juliet," " The Lady of Lyons," '' The 
Hunchback," and " The Taming of the Shrew." At 
Drury Lane, September, 1892, I played the part of 
Rose Woodmere in " The Prodigal Daughter," and at 
the Lyceum, 22nd April, 1893, appeared as Jeannette 
in " The Lyons Mail." At the Grand, Islington, 5th 
June, 1893, I played Alma Dunbar in '' For 
England " ; returned to the Lyceum in June and 
played Queen Eleanor in " Becket," and in Sep- 
tember accompanied Sir Henry Irving and company 
to the United States. On my return I appeared 
at the Lyceum, 5th May, 1894, as Margaret in " Faust " ; 
in September, 1892, I returned with William Terriss to 
the Adelphi, and continued to play there until his 
tragic death. I appeared there in the following plays : 
"The Fatal Card," "The Girl I Left Behind xMe," 
"The Swordsman's Daughter," "One of the Best," 
" Boys Together," " Black-Eyed Susan," " Secret Ser- 
vice," and " In the Days of the Duke." In 1898 I went 
to America, and appeared at the Empire under Charles 
Frohman ; on 26th December, 1898, I appeared as 
Euphrosine in " Phroso," and subsequently appeared as 
Lady Algernon Chetland in " Lord and Lady Algy," 
Stella de Gex in " His Excellency the Governor," Lady 
Doura in " My Lady's Lord," Eleanor Ainslie in " A 
Man and His Wife," Lady Eastney in " Mrs. Dane's 
Defence," and the Comptesse Zicka in " Diplomacy." 
At the Garrick, New York, 15th September, 1902, I 

318 Myself and Others 

played the Comptesse d'Autreval in " There's Many a 
Slip," and at the Savoy, 30th March, 1903, appeared 
as Helen in " The Taming of Helen." At Madison 
Square, 3rd November, 1903, I played Mrs. Tracey 
Auberton in " A Clean Slate " ; at the Princess, 14th 
March, 1904, Beatrice in " Much Ado about Nothing " ; 
and at Proctor's, 23rd May, 1904, in " A Queen's 
Messenger." I reappeared in London, after nearly nine 
years' absence, at the Scala Theatre (which I leased for 
a time) on loth March, 1906, as Lady Manners in "A 
School for Husbands." After a short tour with the 
same play I again returned to America, and at the 
Hudson Theatre, 30th August, 1906, I played the part 
of Mrs. Wilmore in " The Hypocrites." During 1907 I 
toured in the same play ; at the Hudson Theatre, 
November, 1908, played Lady Mereston in " Lady 
Frederick " ; at the Court Theatre, Chicago, January, 
1910, played Clara Stewart in " The Girl in the Taxi," 
appearing in the same part at the Astor Theatre, New 
York, October, 1910. During 191 1 I played in various 
music-halls in "As a Man Sows," and during 191 2 in 
" Reaping the Whirlwind " ; reappeared in London at 
the Chelsea Palace, loth February, 191 3, when I 
played Kate Kerrigan in " In the Grey of the Dawn " ; 
subsequently touring in a playlet, " The Laird and the 

Taylor Garnett Evans 6' Co., 




:j. a. McNeil 





J. A. McNElL 


10 N"-**' '^" 

A \I 

PN Millward, Jessie 

2598 ^tyself and others